The big fly on the left is a female Pantophthalmus bellaradii. The maggots live on wood, the adults don't feed. This specimen has a wingspan of 70mm + and is the largest "conventional-looking" fly species. The males are much smaller than the females but still large flies.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 21, 2011 17:19:30 GMT -8
I only ever seen Phellus olgae once in the wild, they're found in the mallee country inland of Australia. They don't come out every year, they're normal out with all the other Temognatha sp because that's what they feed on (every 5-10 years). there's no way you can get with in 3 meters with out the robber fly flying off. The one I saw was feeding on one of the biggest Buprestidae in Australia Temognatha heros. Even with the wight of the Temognatha heros, it's only slow the robber fly a little bit in the air. They are supper fast and they use the tarsus to keep the elytra appart so the elytra dosen't cut off their proboscis while feeding. The only way you can possibly catch them is when they are mateing in the air or in the rain but dosen't rain that offen inland.
I've caught other roober flies and they were hard enough to catch. They only have one blind spot from underneath.
Post by nomihoudai on Nov 21, 2011 18:57:09 GMT -8
Do any of these flies sting you or can they sting ? In South Europe we have horrible flies that constantly try to sting you and such large flies as this flying after you and trying to sting you would be one of the worst things I can imagine right now =/
The robber fly I mentioned is 8cm body length all black and sits on burnt black tree trunks in nth Qld very well camouflaged , it is an undescribed species I saw very few so far.Not one in my coll yet It occurs in dry eucalypt forest. Although robber flies don`t hunt humans and sting them , they can give you a nasty sting with their proboscis and if they inject you with their venom you can develop a type of necrosis , so look out . Generally most of the large robber flies are difficult to catch because of their speed as one reader mentions , I have many people offering me good $`s for a specimen and only so far have a reprasentative of one spm some species in my collection , so they will be waiting a long time I think.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 22, 2011 14:59:11 GMT -8
£1-00 that is insane. Let me guess, did you get your robber fly from a butterfly dealer? Normally they don't know much outside of butterfly. You can't drive any where with just £1-00 for petrol in Australia. I guess it's very hard to know the difficulty of its biology by just looking at the specimens.
I personally think all the giant robber flies are the hardest flying insect to catch in Australia. I have more Calodema than giant robber flies in my aussie collection. It's the predator to prey ratio and since their prey only abundance every 10 years. I still don't understand how the robber flies can time themselves with the their prey? Their larvae would have to be even feed on the their prey's larvae too. So they can sense the chemical change when their prey is pupating. Endoxyla cinereus is definitely much more easier to catch than robber flies. You wouldn't be able to get near the robber flies and even if it's sitting on a branch. If you sweep one way and it will fly the opposite way.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 23, 2011 4:58:39 GMT -8
After doing some research, I didn't even know I have a female Phellus olgae in my collection but the specimen I caught is a little bit smaller than I though it would be. It's definitely one of my favorite Aussie in my collection.
That is one beautiful fly! Looks to be a perfect specimen as well, I'm really envious.
With regard to whether Coscinocera hercules or Attacus atlas is the biggest moth (in terms of wing area), the official view from the NHM in London, which has a good number of both, is that C. hercules is the biggest. However, both are very variable in size and I have seen dinky little females of both, less than half the size of an average specimen.
Having said that, the biggest moth, in wing area terms, that I have seen is a female Attacus caesar from Mindanao, illustrated life size, along with a variety of other insects, in a Japanese pamphlet. It has a forewing length of 147mm, so, taking the width of the body into account, would have a max wingpan of 12.5 inches. Much bigger than any other moth I know of.
Post by dragonflyer on Nov 23, 2011 13:03:30 GMT -8
concerning the dragonflies, females of P. ingentissima have a wingspan of up to 162 mm, the largest wingspan in Anisoptera is found in females of Tetracanthagyna plagiata, 163 mm. But P. ingentissima has a larger bodylength, about 125 mm which makes it one of the heaviest dragonflies. Which species do you have from Taiwan, Anotogaster sieboldii? The females are very large, too. In Zygoptera Megaloprepus caerulatus has a wingspan of more than 190 mm, bodylength around 120 mm. Mecistogaster lucretia has a bodylength of about 150 mm.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 23, 2011 17:19:45 GMT -8
If I have Phellus olgae in my collection, that giant robber fly that I saw inland was a lot bigger. It would have to be the same sp Jack saw around 8cm body length. It was the biggest robber fly that I've ever seen from any where. There was no chance I could catch that thing.
Thanks, Johnny so it's even more comfusing than ever about which is the biggest moth in the world?
Thanks so it's the same with dragonfly, there's not a clear winner. Yes it's a female Anotogaster sieboldii from Tawan, it's hard to imagine there's a even bigger dragonfly sp out there. How difficult is it to catch a female Tetracanthagyna plagiata? I know most dragonfly will alway come back to the same sport because they're territorial.
I have a pair of Petalura ingentissima, and a pair of Anotogaster sieboldi, in my collection.
I got the P. ingentissima from the late Dr Alun Davies, he had an incredible dragonfly collection (now at Cambridge University) that included several pairs of T. plagiata (two more than the NHM London).
He considered P. ingentissima as the biggest species overall, followed by T. plagiata and A. sieboldi. Having seen his collection I would agree with this.
Post by dragonflyer on Nov 24, 2011 7:41:53 GMT -8
it must be stunning to see such giants all together!!! Do you mean with pairs males and females of T. plagiata? According to Leong males seem to be very rare, also specimens of it (http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/nis/bulletin2009/2009nis115-119.pdf). Never found a picture of a male in the web... Are its wings colored too?
Post by dragonflyer on Nov 24, 2011 7:58:27 GMT -8
PS: many tropical Aeshnids, as T. plagiata too, are crepuscular and are attracted to light. Maybe you are successful with a light trap. Aeshnid females are not as territorital as males and are mostly at waterside for laying eggs...
Yes, Dr Davies had thousands of specimens and most known species.
He had four female T. plagiata and two males. The males were similar in size and colour to the females (from what I remember).
The pair of Petalura ingentissima that I got from him were about average size for that species, about 14cm wingspan. He had at lease 10 pairs in his collection including a couple of females well over 16cm.
The Anotogaster sieboldi I have are about 13cm wingspan, they are not too much smaller than the Petaluras. I got them from a Japanese dealer a few years ago.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 25, 2011 18:12:55 GMT -8
I only have one pair Anotogaster sieboldi and one male Petalura ingentissima given to me by a good friend of mine while he was looking for Lucanidae in far N. QLD. It's good he's only interested in Lucanidae only, so I get to have anything else he caught.
Out of interest, what are the wingspans of the P. ingentissima and A.sieboldi you have?. They're both great species to have in a collection.
My Petalura pair are pretty good but not perfect. The male has a piece missing from the tip of its right wing and the female has a bit of damage on her left wing. Alun Davies did have some perfect pairs but most seem to have a bit of damage on the wings.
Last Edit: Nov 26, 2011 5:58:35 GMT -8 by johnnyboy
Thanks, that's a nice big female Anotogaster sieboldi you have, it's probably close to maximum size for the species. I think that the contention that it is the third biggest dragonfly species is well justified.
The Chinese Chlorogomphus papilio has the biggest wing area of any dragonfly.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 27, 2011 3:08:36 GMT -8
I've been to N. Guangdong collecting many time and I've never seen Chlorogomphus papilio anywhere but it's a really nice sp. I wish I've seen and caught it myself. I think I caught the biggest cranefly in the world Holorusia sp from Guangdong 70mm wingspan, 155mm legspan, 33mm body length.
I also caught the biggest carne fly in Australia from Fraser Is QLD (the largest sand island in the world) 65mm wingspan, 105mm legspan, 22mm body length and also a mimics of spider wasps.