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Manx robber fly

Description: Two paratypes of Machimus cowini, the 'Manx Robber-fly', first collected in the Isle of Man and named after Will S. Cowin, Manxman, ornithologist and general naturalist, whose specimens of butterflies, moths and other insects form a significant part of the Manx Museum's entomological collections.

Machimus cowini, a species of predatory robber fly (family Asilidae), was first discovered by Cowin along road verges just outside Douglas in the 1940s. The site of the original find was later destroyed by ribbon development, but strong populations are still to be found along the soft cliffs and dunes of the north and north east coasts of the Island. The species has also been recorded in places around the Irish Sea coast in the Republic of Ireland, Wales and north west England.

In 1979, the Isle of Man Post Office issued a 13p stamp with an illustration of the Manx Robber-fly by the local artist J.H. Nicholson, to celebrate 100 years of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society. A 2001 stamp issue around the theme of "Bugs and Bees" also included an image of the fly on its 58p stamp.

Date found: 1944

Taxonomic name: Machimus cowini

Collection: Natural History Zoology Collection

ID number: 2009-0039/1-2


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