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

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Common Red-legged Robberfly
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
23/05/2009 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
17/06/2023 (Pugh, Dylan)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records