The Proctacanthus species are large and aggressive robbers. Some appear to be the most aggressive feeders we have, right up there with the vicious Promachus. Butterflies seem to be a favorite food of the larger members of this genus. This is Proctacanthus duryi and it is a medium length, pale, apparently sand-loving species. So far I have only found it on river sand but who knows. This is a male. We currently have seven species of Proctacanthus with nine in OK.

A P. duryi with a katydid kill. Note those impressive hopper antennae shooting off to the left. This was taken on the sand flats at the river as well.

A female Proctacanthus in southern OK from Larry's fine eye. I thought originally it was likely also a P. duryi in his sandy area but I am not sure it isn't P. longus now. There are several other species in OK we have not found yet. The kill is a Saropogon of the red-legged variety and may be the female of S. dispar. Not sure yet.  

The late summer marauder of the genus. Proctacanthus milbertii seems to linger well into fall and definitely loves butterflies. This Buckeye is a large kill. Note those long purple-tinged legs and the heavy cream or white beard on this widespread robber (found across the U. S. except for CA OR and the extreme NE states.)

Another P. milbertii with an Eastern Tailed-Blue. Note the long slender and pale abdomen similar to the P. duryi in this less fed robber than the above. 

P. milbertii female during egglaying with an extended wing. The wings are sometimes trapped as the females work the abdomen backwards into sand or soil. This species seems to just barely place the eggs onto the soil as opposed to the sandy species below which back down into the sand with their genitalia and sometimes half the abdomen.

This female has taken a nice stinkbug. I thought they only ate butterflies for awhile. But I saw a male take a huge grasshopper on this day as well. Like most, they are opportunists and nothing that flies into their radar apparently tastes bad. The small flies on the back of the robber and on the kill are likely parasitic species.

I found this one in 2020 along the back Bell trails. Had not seen one in a while. Robber takes robber.  

Specimen shot of a female P. rufus. Apparently these gals love the clear water creeks in my state. Denizens of the rocks and sand along the waterways. The P. rufus color on the abdomen is almost fluorescent and easily seen in flying individuals. The males often curl the red-orange abdomen upward when hovering.

Michael Thomas saved me the further torture of trying to photograph an elusive P. rufus. Here is a pair with male uppermost. These are the demon robber kings of all the non-photogenic. The female's electric orange tail is very visible here.

P. hinei male from Toadsuck beach that still did not allow very close approach. Very fine beach robbers. Note the wider genitalia terminally on this male. Very close in habits and appearance to the above P. rufus. This species may prefer larger and/or dirtier waterways. Always hard to approach on the open sand.

P. hinei male from Holla Bend in 2006 with an impressively pollinated bee. These large robbers often take large game in comparison to the big Laphria which seem to tackle smaller prey.

P. hinei female from Holla Bend. There were several males flying around but I could not catch one. This female flew several times before allowing this shot. I don't believe I had ever seen a female at the Toadsuck site. Very similar to the female Proctacanthus rufus. But note the red is much less diaphanous and a darker red overall.

Holla Bend also and I went back and retrieved this shot. Having ignored it for 13 years. I believe it is a female P. milbertii again.  

Another P. hinei female. This is from the Toadsuck colony. I watched her land up among the plants at the top of the sand area and maneuver around until she actually backed into the sand, burying her abdomen for about half its length and, I assume, egglaying directly into the soft sand. A first for this method that I had seen.

And Norm's male from the Buffalo River where he found both big red species together.

And compare directly with Norm's rufus from the Buffalo River.

A monster robber fly. It popped up in Georgia near the big Okee Swamp refuge. Kept buzzing and perching on the split rail fences and pines. Over 35 mm long, this is Proctacanthus heros. Taken in Georgia by P. W. Fattig in his long study as well. It has not yet been recorded in Arkansas but may occur in the southeastern or eastern part of the state. Compare with Michael Thomas' shot of P. heros from Georgia. Has presently been found in Kentucky and Mississippi and no closer.

A western species, this one shot in NM by David Oakley in 2016. This is a fine shot of the male Proctacanthus nearno. Was near sandy soil as many Procta favor. Fine thing reminds me of our P. duryi, enlarged.