Narrow-cheeked Clusterfly - Pollenia angustigena

Description

It has the golden thoracic hairs, typical of the Pollenia genus, and generally looks the same as the common clusterfly - Pollenia rudis. Both sexes have the jowls below the eyes slightly narrower than in P. rudis and average a little smaller and slimmer.

Similar Species

There are 8 Pollenia species in Britain, most of which require microscopic examination to key out. See ID Aids below. Pollenia rudis is generally the most common species though some of the others are also common.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • no pale hairs on the underside of the wing (at the base of the humeral crossvein)
  • yellow rear spiracle
  • facial keel present (between the palps)
  • palps dark
  • mid-tibia with one anterodorsal seta
  • hind femur with pale yellowish setulae on posteroventral surface
Identification aids

pollenia key

Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

Habitat

It can be found sunning on sheltered fences and tree trunks.

When to see it

Spring to autumn, and tends to be earlier than Pollenia rudis.

Life History

The larvae attack earthworms, though host preferences appear to be unknown.

UK Status

Widespread, and locally common species in Britain, which can be the most abundant clusterfly in many districts, especially in spring. 

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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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