Nature's Place

King of Flies – Robber of Life


At a small clearing in the forest the grass had grown long and green with the recent rains. Ideal breeding ground for some creatures, ideal hunting ground for others.

Large by the usual size of flies around here, this hunter reigned. It moved easily with grace, never seeming to falter in take-off, capture or landing. There was an efficiency about it, no unnecessary movement or sound, a consummate conservationist designed for stealth.

He sat high in the long untidy grass in wait for something to emerge from the dark shadows below. As soon as a suitable creature, unaware, was within reach up he went to capture with those long spiny legs – the better to grip with – and deliver the ‘coup de grace’ to the creature with a sharp and deadly lancet sheathed in its strong stubby proboscis, usually to somewhere behind the head, via a cocktail of neurotoxin and digestive enzymes that rapidly paralyse and consume.

Cranefly was the prey of incidence today, not too big and not too small, and available in abundance right now – it also has very long legs that help trap it in the hunters embrace, and it moves at a speed and pattern that was easy to track.

The Robber, or Assassin Fly – so called for the way it quickly and silently snatches the life from its prey – was well fed this day.


It pays to be present to see what is now, and not occupied in the memory – which is then and a bridge to a robber of a different kind.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge