Length: Male 6 to 9.5 mm, Female 6.8 to 10 mm. This group of flies, sometimes called Dance flies, are predators of other insects, often tackling large prey, using their long, dagger-like snout. This species is distinguished from the very similar Empis livida by having four dark stripes on the thorax - a central short pair and longer outer stripes. Like Empis lividia, the legs are mainly red/orange.
Along hedgerows where it takes other insects and nectars on flowers.
April and May.
Males of E. opaca and E. tessellata present a 'gift' to the female, in the form of a dead insect, before mating takes place. Females will not mate with males who do not present a gift.
Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.
Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015