Predator vs Prey - Robber Fly vs Hummingbird

By MDC | July 1, 2021
From Xplor: July/August 2021

Lethal Legs

A robber fly’s victim has little hope for escape once the fly wraps its strong, spiny legs around it.

Venom Dagger

Whack! A robber fly stabs its knifelike mouth into unsuspecting prey and injects venom that paralyzes and starts to digest the victim.

Buzz Off!

During high-speed maneuvers — such as escaping from a predator — a hummingbird can flap its wings up to 200 times a second.

Stabby Yapper

Hummingbirds wield their beaks like spears to keep other hummers away from flowers and to defend themselves from predators.

And the winner is…

Some robber flies can grow up to 1.5 inches long. Their size helps them overpower bees and wasps. Although they sometimes take prey as large as a hummingbird, it happens rarely, and this hummer zips off to safety.


The struggle to survive isn’t always a fair fight.

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This Issue's Staff

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White