Common Red-legged Robberfly - Dioctria rufipes

    Alternative names
    Common Red-legged Robberfly

    Size approx 15 mm. The front 2 pairs of legs are usually completely orange-red and the hind legs almost wholly black, though variants do occur (see image below). All Dioctria species have shiny patches on the side of thorax which in good light show as silvery patches or 'shimmer stripes'.

    D. rufipes has a particularly well-developed tubercle at the base of the antennae which helps to distinguish it from other Dioctria species.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


    Scrub and well wooded areas.

    When to see it

    May to July.

    Life History

    They are usually sluggish flies that perch on the foliage of mainly herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees waiting to launch attacks on insect prey. They have hard piercing mouthparts and often prey on parasitic wasps. The eggs are dropped whilst sitting on a leaf, one at a time.

    UK Status

    Widespread but rather local in distribution.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map