Balloon Fly - Hilara maura
Length about 7 mm. There are around 60 British species in this genus and identification is difficult, for this reason images placed in red boxes can only be said to be representative of Hilara maura.
Can be seen swarming over water and marshy areas in the summer months.
Best from May to July.
In the insect world males often present the females with a prenuptial gift of food, usually a small fly, but the males of the Hilara spp. go one step further and gift wrap the present in silk that is exuded from the swollen glands on their front legs. While the female is pre-occupied with unwrapping her present, the male takes the opportunity to mate.
They are common throughout Britain.
Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known but probably fairly frequent.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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