Taxonomy

There are 28 species of robberfly found in Britain, a fairly depauparate number in comparison to mainland Europe. There are 530 genera and over 7,000 species described worldwide. 

Originally described by Linnaeus in his 10th edition of Systema naturae in 1758 this species still stands as the type of the genus Asilus and the family Asilidae. 

There is only 1 species of Asilus in the UK but another 8 genera from the subfamily Asilinae are recorded here. All species from this subfamily have a closed marginal cell on their wings, have antennae with style or arista, and more-or-less parallel abdomens in males, tapered abdomens in females.