Name: Hornet Robberfly
Scientific name: Asilus crabroniformis
Nature Stars: 90
About: Robber-flies are predators, sitting and waiting for smaller flying insects to fly past before chasing and catching them on the wing. The Hornet Robberfly is one of the largest, about 3cm long, with a brown thorax and the body half black and half yellow. They breed in cowpats on heathland and downland.
How to identify: There are 28 species of robber-fly in the UK, which can be very difficult to tell apart. This is one of the largest and most easily identified species.
Where: Southern England and south Wales.
Fantastic fact: The Hornet Robberfly has declined in recent decades and become a rare animal. The main reason for this is that the medicines that farmers use to prevent their cattle from catching worms ends up in the cow pats and kills the insects that would otherwise live and feed on cow dung.
Photograph credit: Cécile Bassaglia