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.
Empis opaca is another large Empis species but this has red femora.
- 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.
April to August.
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.
Common and widespread in Britain.
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