Three Flies

Not everyone’s favourite, but with the weather turning cold again other insects have taken a rain-check and disappeared, but the flies are still there. Flies are also an important part of the UK’s biodiversity, with over 7,000 species to be found - so plenty of scope for finding new species for my list. Such diversity does bring challenges with identification though - so it’s not easy. Going by www,naturespot.org.uk and other photos on the web the first two are closely related species of root-maggot fly. The first of them has been quite common around the garden during April, Hydrophoria lancifer (#448); while the second, with its different patterning and reddish-coloured thighs, is Hydrophoria linogrisea (#469). The third fly is a female Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria, #127), much greener than its yellow coloured mate,

Sleeping Centurion

There’s not so many new insects now the weather has cooled right down, so I was surprised to find this late-flying soldier fly, #355 Twin-Spot Centurion (Sargus bipunctatus), while pruning back some overgrown shrubs. You can’t see the two white dots by the eyes on this photo. This fly is typically seen during August-November, its larvae living in mature and rotting vegetation. It was really inactive, sitting on its leaf while I cut back branches all around it.

355 Twin-Spot Centurion.jpg