Empis tessellata


9-12mm. This is the largest of the genus. It is a bristly fly with brown-tinged wings. It has black femora but the tibia and tarsi may be red/brown.

Similar Species

Empis opaca is another large Empis species but this has red femora.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • 9-12mm
  • 3 dark thoracic stripes overlaying rows of bristles
  • >4 bristles on the scutellum
  • prosternum hairy all over (located under the thorax, between the head and front coxa)

It frequents hedges, woodland edges, gardens and shrubby habitats. Particularly common on Hogweed and other umbellifer flowers.

When to see it

April to August.

Life History

Though it feeds on nectar it is also a predator and catches other insects using its long pointed proboscis to pierce their bodies. 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

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common 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

Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
30/05/2007 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
21/06/2023 (Gaten, Ted)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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