Yellow Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria


One of the most common and widely distributed flies in Britain. The males are golden yellow and furry, whilst females are green/grey and bristly.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • 1 strong sternopleural bristle
  • scutellum with 3 pairs of bristles
  • 2 supra alar bristles
  • arista long haired
  • middle tibia with 2 posteroventral and 3 anteroventral bristles

It is very common in cattle farming areas where it breeds in cow dung but it can be found anywhere. It will breed on dung from many animals, including dogs and reindeer! Males congregate, often in large numbers, on fresh cowpats hoping to intercept a female arriving to lay eggs.

When to see it

March to November peaking in summer, but can be found all year round.

Life History

The adult fly is mainly carnivorous and catches smaller insects, though also eats nectar. As the name suggests, this fly lays its eggs on dung where the larvae are predatory on other insect larvae.

UK Status

Very common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
24/09/2004 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
05/04/2024 (Dejardin, Andrew)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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