Empis opaca

Description

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.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Along hedgerows where it takes other insects and nectars on flowers.

When to see it

April and May.

Life History

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.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Flies
Kingdom:
Animalia
Order:
Diptera
Family:
Empididae
Records on NatureSpot:
21
First record:
07/07/2005 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
15/05/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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