Nemopoda nitidula


Sepsidae flies are sometimes called scavenger flies or ensign flies. They are small (up to 4mm) and resemble ants. They typically wave their wings whilst running around, hence their name 'ensign flies'. This species has a white dusting over most of the lower sides of the thorax and is otherwise all black, except for the front legs which are usually pale yellow. It lacks the clear black spot on the wings found in the Sepsis genus.

Identification difficulty
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.


Various habitats, often seen resting on vegetation where it has a habit of running about on sunlit foliage.

When to see it

April to September.

Life History

Usually breed in dung or decaying vegetation, but have also been found in the fruit bodies of fungi.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Probably fairly frequent but under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map