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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. (Spelling C. quadrifasciatus is also found.)

Cambridge, 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.


Conops vesicularis Linnaeus, 1761

Conops vesicularis Family Conopidae

Cambridge, 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.


Anomoia purmunda (Harris, 1776)

Anomoia purmunda Anomoia purmunda Family Tephritidae

Cambridge, 24 Aug 2014.

Length (head + body) 4.5mm; wing span 10mm

This family of fruit-flies or "Picture wing" flies includes some which are serious pests such as the Med-Fly Ceratitis capitata.

Wings are carried in this front facing posture, perhaps as an attempt to look bigger or fiercer than it really is. The markings look vaguely spider like but would this really fool a potential predator? Maybe it is a mating display ...

Synonym: Phagocarpus purmundus

Enlarged view


Trypeta zoe Meigen, 1826

Trypeta zoe Family Tephritidae

Cambridge, 20 May 2001.

Length (head + body) 5mm

Identification thanks to Alan Hadley, who adds: I have found a picture of the wing in a Russian book I have and one of the whole insect in "Flies of the British Isles" by Colyer and Hammond, appearntly it is sexually dimorphic - the one you photographed is a female, the wing markings are different in the male. Its larvae mine the leaves of Groundsel, Ragwort, Mugwort and Tansy.

Syn: Euribia zoŰ, Spilographa zoŰ - the most recent ICZN mandates the removal of the diacritic marks.


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."


Calliopum aeneum (FallÚn, 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 (FallÚn, 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.


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.

Larvae are predators on snails.

Enlarged view


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


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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