Top-horned Hunchback - Acrocera orbiculus

    Description

    Acrocera orbiculus is one of three British Acroceridae species. They are small, dumpy flies with a strongly domed thorax, relatively small head and large squamae. Acrocera orbiculus is easily distinguished from the other two acrocerids by the fact that the antennae are placed high on the head directly in front of the ocelli (the bristle-like aristae giving away their position). The abdomen can be extensively cream-coloured or mostly black.

    Identification difficulty
    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

    It can be found in a variety of habitats, including chalk grassland, heathland, woodland edge, wetlands, coastal dunes and saltmarsh edge.

    When to see it

    Adults are recorded from May until September with peaks in July and August.

    Life History

    The larvae develop as internal parasitoids of spiders. Eggs are laid on vegetation and the larvae then attach themselves to passing spiders.

    UK Status

    This is the most widespread and frequent acrocerid though it is, nevertheless, rather scarce and localised in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map