Empis tessellata - Empis tessellata

Description

This large, drab green-brown bristly fly with brown-tinged wings is distinguished from the very similar Empis opaca by its black thighs (E. Opaca has red thighs)

Habitat

It frequents hedges, woodland edges, gardens and shrubby habitats. Particularly common on Hogweed and other umbellifer flowers.

When to see it

April to August.

Life History

Though it feeds on nectar it is also a predator and catches other insects using its long pointed proboscis to pierce their bodies. 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

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map