New Website: Robber Flies of the World

Today is World Robber Fly Day, and I can't think of a better time to announce the launch of my new website, Robber Flies of the World:

As the name suggests, it covers all 7,200+ known species of these venomous predators, and focuses on their taxonomy, natural history and identification. My hope is that in the future it will become the go-to reference for just about anything pertaining to robber flies.

This has been a passion project of mine over the past 6 years or so. Because I decided to build it from the ground up, I've had to learn how to write and use HTML5, PHP, CSS, Javascript, and MySQL. While this means that I have had full control over the appearance and functionality of the site, it also means that there may be some uncaught bugs or glitches. I will continue to tweak and improve the site's appearance and performance over time, so let me know if you encounter any issues!

Robber Flies of the World currently has three main features:

  • Taxon Pages: Browse through every accepted subfamily, tribe, genus, and species. Over time each taxon page will be updated with diagnostic photographs and information pertaining to it's identification and natural history.
  • Species Catalog: Search by subfamily, tribe, genus, zoogeographic region, country and state to generate a catalog of species that match those criteria. Only accepted taxa are included, with junior synonyms listed for the relevant taxa.
  • Taxon Database: Search for a subfamily, tribe, genus, or species from a database of every known name used in Asilidae (over 12,00 records).

These are all generated from a MySQL database, which will allow me to quickly and easily modify classifications or add taxa as new taxonomic and phylogenetic studies are published.

The next big feature to be added to the website is the literature database, which will be incorporated into the taxon pages, species catalog, and taxon database as well as have a dedicated query page. Other major planned features include a predator-prey database, dichotomous keys, and matrix-based keys.

I hope you will find Robber Flies of the World to be a useful addition to your toolkit, and I look forward to your feedback!

If you want to get involved in the holiday festivities, consider posting your robber fly photos to Twitter with the hashtag #WorldRobberFlyDay (

Posted on April 30, 2020 02:10 PM by myelaphus myelaphus


Awesome - I'm sure this will become a very valuable resource to those of us that love Robber Flies. Already bookmarked. Thanks!

Posted by daverogers about 4 years ago

Excellent - Well Done :)

Posted by steveuk about 4 years ago

Wow, thank you for sharing! We have been waiting for this for a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing this become more complete as time goes on.

@aispinsects @treegrow may also be interested

Posted by edanko about 4 years ago


Posted by edanko about 4 years ago

Wow, this is great and gonna be so much more! Very much congratulations.

Posted by aispinsects about 4 years ago

Looks cool! Maybe this will help me to get a little deeper into this family.

Posted by treegrow about 4 years ago

Fantastic! I've added a shortcut in Dronefly bot on the iNat Discord so someone can type in a taxon name and get back a URL directly to a species record in the catalog, e.g. ,rfwo Dioctria hyalipennis, just like we have for numerous other online catalogs (powo, millibase, etc.)

Posted by benarmstrong about 4 years ago


Posted by markusgebel about 4 years ago

Excellent! Thanks again, Chris. A truly valuable resource.

Posted by robcannings about 4 years ago

Looks amazing, fantastic creation you have made!

Posted by clairetoffolo about 4 years ago

A few more folks I stupidly forgot to include in my first comment: @b_coulter @pbedell

Posted by myelaphus about 4 years ago

Really cool!

Posted by b_coulter about 4 years ago

Congratualtions!!! Looking forward to seeing this grow!!!

Posted by hinterrandmacroch... about 4 years ago

Heartiest congratulations to your wonderful work....!

Posted by thilinahettiarachchi about 4 years ago

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