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Hanging Flies

Afrikaans name:

Ceilings are a good place to look for these insects

Hanging Fly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bittacus species

There are approximately 30 species of Hanging Fly found in South Africa. Most of the Hanging Flies found in South Africa belong to the genus Bittacus.

These insects are predators and spend much of their time hanging by their front legs with their rear legs dangling in the air to catch an unsuspecting insect that flies by.

Hanging Flies tend to be active during the day but may sometimes be found inside houses at night. It appears that they may be disturbed by rain or wind at night and fly inside because of the lights.

Once a hanging fly catches another insect it injects it with some of its saliva which dissolves the unfortunate creatures insides. They then suck up this soup-like fluid.

Hanging Fly on a wall

A wall makes a suitable place to wait for prey

Photo © Steven Herbert

Note the long legs on this Hanging Fly

Note the long legs

Photo © Steven Herbert



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