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 - see our Identification Difficulty page for more information. A coloured rating followed by an exclamation mark denotes that different ID difficulties apply to either males and females or to the larvae - see the species page for more detail.
Craneflies, Gnats & Midges
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.
The Dipterist's Forum offers a huge range of support for those interested in this group.
This group includes fly species that are in the dipteran sub-order Nematocera - the most ancient of the three fly sub-orders meaning they were the first to evolve. Fly species in these families all typically have reduced wing venation or wing veins that radiate to the margin and lack a closed anal cell. They are mainly lightly-built flies with long legs and long antennae.
Limoniidae - Limonid Craneflies
These are closely related to the crane flies (Tipulidae) but can usually be distinguished by the way the wings are held at rest. Limoniids usually hold the wings along the back of the body whereas tipulids usually hold them out at right angles.