Cyrtopogon falto

Robber Fly
Cyrtopogon falto

GenBank: 1890837

Identification:
Head: Brown, wider than thorax. Top of head gray, shiny. Back of head black. Eyes large, widely separated, brownish pile between. Silvery around antenna bases. Moustache (mystax) thick, golden hairs (thinner on female), edged with black. Beard (under face) white, thick.
Antenna: Long, Y-shaped; each segment equal length. Entirely black, base hairy.
Thorax: Black, shiny, with black hair. Brownish-yellow pile in vague longitudinal stripes; some pile around edges of thorax. Segment 2 (scutellum) black, shiny with faint brownish-yellow pile along base. Sides of thorax yellowish-gray pile, with a shiny bare spot near wing base.
Wings: Base yellowish, tips slightly grayish; rest clear. Neither male or female have clouded or dark spots on wings. Veins black. Halteres yellowish-white.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black, shiny; white hair at base and underside. Shins (tibiae) base ½ or less reddish-yellow; rest black; bright golden yellow to white pile on underside. Feet 1st segment reddish-yellow, rest black; bright golden yellow to white pile on underside.  Toes yellow, black tips.
Abdomen: Black,  shiny with white pile marks on lower margin of segment sides 2 to 5 or 6. Female tip has black spines.

Similar Species: Cyrtopogon bimacula has shins (tibiae) red or yellow, except tip black and feet (tarsi) mostly red. C. bimacula  male has large dark spot on wings. C. falto has no more than base half of shin red or yellow, and feet mostly black. No dark spots on wings.

Size: 12 to 17 mm long

Habitat: Forest edges, prefers pine. Meadows with sandy soil.

Food: Adults feed on a wide variety of insects like mosquitoes, flower flies and smaller robber flies.

Flight Time: Mid-May to August (peaks in June).

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in soil – prefers sandy soils. Feeding habits of larvae unknown.

Comments: Ontario – Essex County, Ojibway Prairies, Windsor. Generally a more northern species; along Georgian Bay, N. Lambton County and Algonquin Provincial Park. In Ohio.
DNA samples from BOLD suppressed at GenBank: Cyrtopogon falto, C. bimacula and C. vulneratus.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page