Empis opaca

    Description

    Length: Male 6 to 9.5 mm, Female 6.8 to 10 mm. This group of flies, sometimes called Dance flies, are predators of other insects, often tackling large prey, using their long, dagger-like snout. This species is distinguished from the very similar Empis tessellata by having red/brown thighs (E. tessellata has black thighs).

    Habitat

    Along hedgerows where it takes other insects and nectars on flowers.

    When to see it

    April and May.

    Life History

    Males of E. opaca and E. tessellata  present a 'gift' to the female, in the form of a dead insect, before mating takes place. Females will not mate with males who do not present a gift.

    UK Status

    Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map