|Toxic Robber Fly|
|Species Type||Robber Fly|
|Environment||Deserts of the American Southwest|
|Reproduction||Sexual; lays eggs|
|Related Species||Wyliea chrysauges|
Toxic Robber Flies are a species of robber fly which uses visual mimicry to mimic the appearance of more lethal tarantula hawks, specifically pepsis formosa and pepsis thisbe. Like them, the Toxic Robber Fly has brilliantly orange wings, which is used as an aposematism (nature's "red flag" to other species along with the colors red and yellow). They feed by snatching other insects out of the air.
These flies have a short proboscis for injecting a toxic saliva into its prey, but it is incapable of stinging, unlike the species it mimics. Even so, to further disguise itself it will still make stinging motions with the genitalia at the tip of their abdomen as if it were a true stinger. This is enough to leave their predators, such as various birds and lizards in the area, cautious around them as the species they mimic top the list on sting intensity.
A close observer will notice that the flies have only two wings like other flies, unlike wasps which have four. The antennae of are also short while the wasp's are long.