Belongs to: flies

Empid fly Empis tessellata


Best time to see: Apr to Aug

Key facts

A large, bristly, long-legged fly that spears other insects with its beak-like proboscis

Widespread across Britain in meadows and flower-rich woodland edges

Usually found waiting for prey on the heads of flowers, and especially on umbellifers such as hogweed

Recognition

Greeny-brown body with distinctive 'beak', turned-down tip and bristles; brown-tinged wings

10–12mm long

Lifecycle

Empid flies (this is one of many species) often use courtship rituals involving offerings of prey

The young prey on invertebrates in soil and decaying vegetation

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton