Murky-legged Black Legionnaire - Beris chalybata

Description

Their halteres are whitish in colour, their legs are long and dirty orange and their feet are dark. Note the 6 spines on the scutellum - characteristic of the genus. It also has tinted wings.

Similar Species

There are 6 British species in the Beris genus and these can usually be distinguished by the combination of abdomen and leg colours. See ID Aids below.

Identification difficulty
Identification aids

This genus of soldierflies are all of modest size with an elliptical abdomen. The abdomen is either blackish or mainly orange but without a striking pattern. They also have 6 spines projecting backwards from the scutellum. Note that flies in the related Chorisops genus have 4 spines.

There are 6 known species in Britain. It is not known if all can be found in Leicestershire and Rutland and the status descriptions are based on national records.

Species Abdomen Legs Status
B. chalybata black dull orange common
B. fuscipes black dark with orange on tips of femora + base of tibiae uncommon
B. geniculata black dark all over common
B. morrisii black clear yellow uncommon
B. clavipes orange hind tibiae orange rare
B. vallata orange hind tibiae half black / half orange common

Note: as with many species there can be variation amongst specimens.

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.

Habitat

Flying, or resting, on sunlit leaves in bushes, hedges or other flowering plants.

When to see it

Early summer.

Life History

It feeds on pollen and nectar and sometimes also on the substrate of rotten plants. Females lay eggs individually on rotting plants. The larvae overwinter. They pupate in spring, in a hardened larval skin. The adult flies leave this through a T-shaped slit.

UK Status

Fairly frequent and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map