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Order: Diptera / Suborder: Cyclorrhapha / Section: Acalyptratae

This section includes some flies which look very different to the better known house flies, blow flies and flesh flies. Here are some which caught my eye.

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Conops quadrifasciata De Geer, 1776

Conops quadrifasciata Family Conopidae. (Gender agreement C. quadrifasciatus is also found.)

Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 8 Aug 2002.

A conopid with a fairly wide but localised distribution, seen here feeding on Fennel flowers.

Larvae are internal parasites on Bombus lucorum.

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Conops vesicularis Linnaeus, 1761

Conops vesicularis Family Conopidae

Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 4 Aug 2001.

Length (head + body) 10mm

Matt Smith gave this identifcation: the specimens here look darker than C. quadrifasciatus (above) but I think this may be variable. There are also further similar British species needing close examination and a good key for reliable determination.

Larvae are predators in bumble-bee nests.

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Sicus ferrugineus (Linnaeus, 1761)

Sicus ferrugineus Family Conopidae

Cambridge, Coldhams Common, 14 Jul 2015.

Larvae are endoparasites of bumble bees; adults feed on nectar and pollen of various flowers.

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Sepsis punctum (Fabricius, 1794)

Sepsis punctum Family Sepsidae are known as Black Scavenger Flies but as seen here also come in metallic colours. This one is about 4mm long and sunning itself on a honeysuckle leaf.

The round head (enlarged) with antennae of top is a feature of the family. Larvae are dung feeders.

Identification by Paul Beuk, who writes "This picture in my view is Sepsis punctum (Fabricius, 1794), the largest of the British species in the genus. I think it is this one because the base of the abdomen has a orange tinge, a feature often found in S. punctum, and the legs are mostly yellowish."

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Calliopum aeneum (Fallén, 1820)

Calliopum aeneum Family Lauxaniidae

I am grateful to Paul Beuk for this identifcation:

"These pictures are of a species of Calliopum (family Lauxaniidae), the larvae of which live in rotting organic (usually plant) matter. The two most common species in Britain are Calliopum simillimum (Collin, 1933) and C. aeneum (Fallén, 1820). For certain identification you have to see details of genitalia, face or legs. So, from the pictures it is not possible to identify this species with certainty but my guess is that it is the latter."

Left inset - close up of eyes. Right, manipulating a drop of (?) seminal fluid with their hind feet. The insects are about 5mm long.

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Coremacera marginata (Fabricius, 1775)

Coremacera marginata Family Sciomyzidae

Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR TL479582. 29 July 2014.

Characteristic resting pose with wings laid back and overlapping. The wings are tinted nearly to opacity.

The members of this family deposit their eggs near snails and the larvae eat the snail.

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Enlarged view

Trypetoptera punctulata (Scopoli, 1763)

Trypetoptera punctulata Family Sciomyzidae (see previous species)

Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR TL479583. 28 July 2015.

Wings patterns are reminsicent of Trypeta species in the Tephritidae (hence the genus name)

A species of dry habitats, especially calcareous woodlands.

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Yellow swarming fly Thaumatomyia notata (Meigen, 1830)

Thaumatomyia notata Family Chloropidae

Cambridge, 30 Mar 2001.

A tiny fly only 2.5mm long.

Larvae predaceous on aphids.

Adults sometimes enter houses in large numbers.

Tentative identification. Other chloropids, eg Chlorops pumilionis have similar markings on head and thorax

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Yellow Cereal Fly Opomyza florum (Fabricius, 1794)

Opomyza florum Family Opomyzidae

Cambridge, 23 Aug 2014.

Larvae are stem borers in grasses. Can be a pest, damaging winter cereals such as wheat, barley and rye.

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