Robberflies are closely related to mosquitoes and houseflies. They belong to the Asilidae family and are predacious, which means they feed on other insects.
Their hind and fore wings are held together by ‘hooks’. Their mouths look like teeth, which help them to bite and feed on insects much larger than themselves.
They have excellent vision — see its large, compound eyes — and can catch their prey in mid-air.
Each of the insect’s hind wings is modified into a haltere — a stalk with a knob-like structure at the end. Like a rudder on a boat, the haltere helps direct the robberfly’s flight path.
Egyptians are said to have worshipped them — those who were awarded a military honour were given a robberfly pendant made of gold!