Daylight robbery / by Mario Mirabile

We planted an olive tree in our front garden a few years ago. It gets plenty of sun, but I'm not really sure it's enjoying the position it's in as it has stiff competition for moisture from a nearby mature golden elm. Still, it produces a flush of blossom each spring, and should be cross-pollination with a much more successful specimen across the road. A couple of years ago I watched and waited eagerly for the two olives it had produced to mature, but the disappeared from it's branches before they had the chance.

Once again this year it produced a promising flush of flowers. I was checking it for developing olives today when I spotted something quite unexpected. This is a robber fly, sometimes known as an assassin fly. The name reflects their nature - they are notoriously aggressive predators, feeding mainly on other insects. I dashed inside, grabbed a camera, mounted my macro lens and returned fully expecting it to be gone. However, it kindly obliged me by waiting around till I had these shots. While I don't expect it played any part in the disappearance of my olives, with a name like robber fly, who can tell for sure.