Pollenia rudis

    Description

    The typical cluster fly Pollenia rudis is about 7 mm long, has short golden-coloured hairs on the thorax and irregular light and dark grey areas on the abdomen. Cluster flies are typically slow moving and pass the winter as adults so are very common in early spring.

    Similar Species

    There are over 20 Pollenia species recorded in Britain, most of which can't be identified without microscopic examination to key out complex features. Pollenia rudis is generally the most common species.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance
    • yellow hairs on thorax
    • patterned abdomen
    • yellow/orange rear spiracle
    • dark palps
    • facial ridge between the antennae
    • 2 or more anterodorsal bristles on the mid tibia
    Recording advice

    Explain how you identified this fly and the key features.

    Habitat

    In autumn, it can be commonly found sunning on sheltered fences and tree trunks.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    Life History

    Cluster flies are so called because they congregate, often in large numbers, to hibernate in attics and out-houses. Its larvae parasitise earthworms.

    UK Status

    Widespread and common in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map