Stichopogon

Stichopogon abdominalis eating another individual of the same species

Stichopogon can be fierce predators in open sandy habitats. S. abdominalis prefers areas of open white sand. S. trifasciatus are often found on the shores of lakes and rivers, though they can occur in the same sandy blowouts as S. abdominalis. Both are fairly small, but S. trifasciatus are larger. I have seen runt S. trifasciatus that approached the size of S. abdominalis. The abdominal patterns are distinctive.

Stichopogon trifasciatus

The name derives from the alternating pattern of silver and dark tergites (abdominal segments). It’s sometimes known as the three-banded robberfly.

Size: 9.5-14 mm

Range: Throughout U.S.

FL Range: Throughout

FL Season: April – October

Stichopogon abdominalis

Very small robbers, with dark or reddish bands on most abdominal segments. I often find these in the same white sand habitats as Moustached Tiger Beetle (Ellipsoptera hirtilabris).

Size: 6-8 mm

Range: Southeastern US (North Carolina south to FL. Also LA and MO)

FL Range: Panhandle, north, and central Florida south to Highlands County.

FL Season: March – October

The open sandy habitat important for Stichopogon abdominalis and other species is often maintained by harvester ants. Harvester ants seem to be a keystone species for this habitat.

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