Bibio varipes

Alternative names
Variable Bibio

A medium-sized Bibio (6-9mm) and very similar to B. lanigerus. Males are all black whereas females are black bodied with red/brown legs. The first segment of the male hind tarsus is not as swollen as in male B. lanigerus and about four times longer than wide. The stigma is brown and the membrane of the wing yellowish. The costa isn't straight and shows a small depression at the stigma, especially in females. Vein r1 is slightly curved before its upturned tip. Halteres are brown.

Similar Species

Bibio lanigerus is very similar but with males having a more swollen hind tarsus (3x long as wide). The stigma is indistinct and almost the same colour as the wing. Halteres are black and the costa is straight without a depression over the stigma.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • 6-9mm
  • Males all black, females with reddish legs
  • First segment of the male hind tarsus not very swollen, about four times long as wide
  • Stigma brown
  • Membrane of wing yellowish
  • Costa depressed at stigma, especially in female
  • r1 slightly curved before its upturned tip
  • Halteres brown
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.


Favours woodland and well wooded areas.

When to see it

The flight period peaks in April and May.

UK Status

Bibio varipes is widespread in much of Britain and can be the commonest spring Bibio in many districts.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map