Red-footed Cannibalflies (mating pairs)

The following photographs show mating pairs of Red-footed Cannibalflies (Promachus rufipes) spotted on 06 October 2014 near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. Red-footed Cannibalfly is a species of robber fly seen commonly at the park.

It never occurred to me that male and female robber flies might look different — I just assumed they look the same. Well, you know what they say about that kind of thinking. As it turns out, there is an obvious difference in appearance that I didn’t notice until I examined the photos of these mating pairs. By coincidence, the male is shown on the left and the female on the right in every photo. Do you see what I saw?

Red-footed Cannibalflies (mating pair)

The male’s abdomen is “tiger-striped” for its entire length; the female’s abdomen is two-thirds tiger-striped, one-third black.

Red-footed Cannibalflies (mating pair)

I never noticed the difference in appearance between males and females until I edited these photos. When I took a second-look at other photos of Red-footed Cannibalflies posted on my blog, it was easy to identify the gender of the specimens. Who knew?

Red-footed Cannibalflies (mating pair)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Red-footed Cannibalflies (mating pairs)”

  1. Bad day to be a bee! | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] A Red-footed Cannibalfly (Promachus rufipes), a species of robber fly (Family Asilidae), was spotted during a recent photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual is a female. […]

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