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Archive for September 2, 2011

Robber Fly

Robber flies have been covered in a previous posting, but their beak, or proboscis, deserves its own post, in my opinion.  These predators perch and scan the sky for prey. When they see it they  anticipate the prey’s direction and speed of flight and fly out and intercept it mid-air.  Their objective is to paralyze the prey and  liquify its insides so that the fly can drink it.  The tip of the robber fly’s beak is covered with microscopic stiff bristles, designed to secure it within the wound it creates. Once this is achieved, a dagger-like shaft hidden inside the beak is used to stab its victim in the head or thorax and inject the paralyzing  neurotoxic and digestive enzymes.  The resulting fluid is sucked up by the fly’s beak, or proboscis.