In 2007 I and a group of friends ventured to La Selva Biological station in Costa Rica after having the place recommended by Dr. Eric Fisher for exploring the Central American rain forests. It was a fine recommendation. We went to shoot robbers (and, of course, see everything we could). This page contains the selected Asilid shots. There are apparently 108 species known for La Selva with 300 in Costa Rica. And the station is highly studied compared to many areas of the country. I will add info as I get it on the images. We are guessing initially based on comparisons with our US species. I will number the shots for reference from experts. All below species determinations were made by Dr. Fisher.

Shot 1. Above species was the largest and most spectacular that I saw. Very dark-winged, like a giant Lampria, this thing was 28-30 mm long. It flew along a primary forest trail and perched on the ground or on low vegetation. Had to chase it many times to get the closer shots. From Dr. Fisher it is Archilestris excellens Enderlein. Mainly arboreal apparently. This one may have been searching for ovipostiting sites near the ground. Two species in the genus in CA and this one is the low elevation species. A. wenzeli Papavero & Bernardi is the mid-elevation species.

Shot 2. An apparent yellow jacket mimic, though I did not see a yellow jacket in the entire forest. This was also on a very wet primary forest trail. And as seen below it actually deposited eggs in some clay/mud of the trail. I have never seen a robber directly deposit in wet soil of any kind. This robber was about 12-15mm long. It is Diogmites lindigii (Schiner).

Shot (shot 3) of upper of the same female showing the site of deposition.

Shot 4. And a lovely robber from Eric Haley, I think this is the only one he got. He was highly bird distracted. I thought it was some kind of Dioctria relative. But I sent this shot early to Dr. Fisher and he believes it is Senobasis corsair Bromley, in one of the Dasypogoninae genus. 

Shot 5. Same robber from the hind view. Apparently about four species in the genus Senobasis known from Costa Rica with some undescribed. 

Shot 6. The only robber we had in our captivity. It flew into the guest house (we kept both front and back door open like a giant malaise trap). Cheryl Lavers spotted it over the kitchen sink. We caught it and released it. It is shown here on the drinking glass edge before it flew off. It has the upturned proboscis of the Andrenasomatini.  And Dr. Fisher states it is indeed Andrenosoma cinereum (Bellardi), a widespread species.

Shot 7. The only robber that landed on me in the forests. This was on the river trail on the west side which is secondary forest with a regrowth forest area. Note that it is on my leg and I am leaning and stretching to shoot it. (No leg comments please.) It also has the upturned proboscis of the Andrenasomatini. We tried to make it a Pilica species because that is the beast on the cover of the Central American paper from Dr. Fisher. And he confirms it is Pilica formidolosa (Walker). It was associated with downed and cut logs in a sort of unnatural treefall. There were several there and they seemed to perch on the logs only. Acted like our Pogonosoma.

Shot 8. The same species as above, paired on a log surface.

Shot 9. This looked like a Diogmites to me. And it is apparently a male D. superbus Carrera.  See the darker species below. Perching and landing on low vegetation on a secondary rain forest trail near the open river trail.

Shot 10. The darker Diogmites creature in true rain forest. We had a similar species in the yard of the guest house that was rather skittish. It is Diogmites species "C" as described by Fisher.

Shot 11. The same robber from the dorsum. Note the very smoky wings. There are quite a number of Diogmites in Central America and they have not been studied closely. Probably because they require close dissection of the genitalia in the US species for determination.

Shot 12. The only male Efferia I saw there. Also a difficult genus in the tropics. No large study on them there despite the extensive work in our area. This was a large and handsome species. It is near E. argentifascia Enderlein. Perching on head high vegetation which would be unusual for our species but apparently the norm in the rain forests. I saw one other female Efferia on the river shore but did not get a shot of her. It had a long ovipositor like our Nerax and Pogonioefferia groups.

Shot 13. The Ommatius are easily identified both here and down there by the branched antenna. Fairly large genus in the tropics apparently. About eight species known from the Costa Rica area. Likely requires close exam of the male genitalia for species as do our northern counterparts. Both this and the next are unfortunately females.

Shot 14. A different individual in the east side secondary forests during a rain.

Shot 15. A wide-eyed species that looked very Holcocephaloid (so to speak). Dr. Fisher confirms it is likely Holcocephala and probably one of the undescribed species. The patterned wings were odd for that genus. Very orange-bodied. It perched on hanging stems in the west side riverine trails in the open near tree falls and cut openings.

Shot 16. An unusual beast that did not correspond to anything we have visually. Hump-backed appearance. It was only about 12mm at the most. Stem percher and was in some open sun areas away from primary forest. Dark-winged. Dr. Fisher believes it is another Holcocephala but I did not get a good facial angle on this.

Shot 17. Ah, the Atomosia related creatures. This is apparently an Atractia. One of the genera in that big group. Took a bit to see them but once you do they were fairly ubiquitous. We have several shots. Some were quite a bit bigger than our species with a few in the 10mm range. Characteristic abdominal banding and stance. There are possibly 15 or more species of the genus Atomosia in the Central American regions. Also quite a few related genera in this tribe.

Shot 18. Possibly an Atomosia relation. Very metallic reflections. And the wrong perching position for Atomosia proper. About the right size. Dr. Fisher believes this is an Atoniomyia.

Shot 19. A wily beast that appeared to be related to our Megaphorus in the only view I had of it. It was perched up over my head as you can see. I was stretching for this shot. Had another perching Laphriinae that had golden hair on the thorax that vanished as well. There are no Megaphorus in Costa Rica. There are some Mallophora which I could not personally make this into but Dr. Fisher says this is indeed a Mallophora and probably in a different group of Mallophora distinct from the M. fairchildi species (see Panama page at link below) though they are confused in one prior genus revision. Dr. Fisher's section of the Diptera of Central America explains some of this. Available soon.

Panama Robbers