- Help & Information
- Groups & Links
- Help to Record
- User League
- My Profile
All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species, particularly from a photo. See our Photo ID page for more information.
For more information, useful books and web links, plus tips on recording this group, see our Resources section.
True flies (order Diptera) are an immense group with over 100,000 known species. They all have their hind pair of wings reduced to pin-shaped structures called halteres which act as gyroscopes to maintain balance in flight. Most feed on liquids, including nectar and blood.
This family are called soldier flies because of the bright, often metallic colours and regular patterns.
Members of this family are often bee or wasp mimics.
Rhagionidae are medium to large flies with slender bodies and stilt-like legs. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and many species feed on blood, whilst others are predatory on other insects. They are typically brown and yellow flies, and lack bristles. The larvae are also predatory and are mostly terrestrial, although some are aquatic. Snipe flies in the genus Rhagio are sometimes called "down-looker" flies after their habit of perching head-downward on tree trunks.
The larvae of this family are predators of insect larvae in soil
Formerly included in the Empididae as a subfamily.
They are mainly predatory flies and generally small to medium sized, non-metallic and rather bristly. The 'dagger' refers to their sharp, piercing mouthparts.
Most members of this family are parasitoids (they develop inside a living host, ultimately killing it), and a few are parasitic (they do not kill the host).
All of the rhinophorids attack woodlice and are found where woodlice are present.
These are large flies which can give a painful bite. Adult horse flies feed on nectar and sometimes pollen but females require a blood meal for reproduction. Males lack the necessary mouth parts for blood feeding. Most female horse flies feed on mammal blood, but some species are known to feed on birds, amphibians or reptiles. Unlike insects which surreptitiously puncture the skin with needle-like organs, horse flies have tiny, serrated mandibles which they use to rip and/or slice flesh apart.
This is a large family of flies, commonly called 'House flies' because of the close association of some muscids with humans.
Most Robber flies are bristly and have a 'moustache' of bristles on their face to protect them when attacking prey. They have a short, strong proboscis, used to stab and inject victims with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which paralyze and digest the insides; the fly then sucks the liquefied meal through the proboscis.
The adults resemble bees which may give them some protection from predators. The larvae are predators or parasitoids of other insect eggs or larvae, and are often opportunistic in which species they attack.
Only a few species of the genus Scathophaga pass their larval stages in animal dung. The name probably derives from the Common Yellow Dung-fly, S. stercoraria, which is one of the most abundant and ubiquitous flies in many parts of the northern hemisphere.
Members of this family are known as trembling-wing flies because of the striking vibration of the wings in many species.
The fore legs are markedly smaller than the other pairs. Mostly they are long-bodied
The larvae of most species in this family are scavengers on decaying organic matter. A few are plant feeders.
Tephritid fruit flies are of major importance in agriculture. Some have negative effects, some positive.
The wings of this family of flies are in almost constant motion, as though giving signals.
These are generally small flies (5 mm or less) with large, often brightly coloured, eyes. Many species have patterned wings. The larvae mostly feed on decaying organic matter and can be found feeding in leaf litter, birds' nests, etc.
Generally small, slender, yellow, brown or black coloured flies. The larval food plants are grasses, including cereal crops, the adults are mainly found in open habitats.
A small family of flies whose larvae feed on decaying plant and animal matter.
Some species are commonly called 'root-maggots', as the larvae are found in the stems and roots of various plants. As larvae, some also feed on decaying plant material, and some are leaf miners.
Adults are commonly shiny with metallic coloring, often with blue, green, or black. Many species lay eggs on meat or carrion and they get their old English name from meat being 'blown' with maggots.
Most flesh flies breed in carrion, dung, or decaying material, but a few species lay their eggs in the open wounds of mammals, hence their common name.
These are usually very small flies, yellow or black and appearing shiny due to the virtual absence of any hairs. Most of the larvae of this genus feed on grasses.
Many species resemble ants having a "waist" and glossy black body. Many Sepsidae have a curious wing-waving habit made more apparent by dark patches at the wing end. Adult flies are found mostly on animal and human excrement (less often on other rotting organic matter), where eggs are laid and larvae develop.
Most members of this family are woodland specialists.
Mostly small, slim flies often found in moist habitats such as woodland.
Commonly found in moist environments, they are known to be a pest of mushroom farms and are commonly found in household plant pots.
Hosted by Clook Internet