Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by © Brian Ecott


Diptera FLIES not including hoverflies

Thick-headed fly Physocephala rufipes on creeping thistle. Photo © Michael Rumble.  July 20th 2011.

Bee fly Bombylius major

Bee-fly Bombylius major along the Oak path 26th April 2013

Bee-fly Bombylius major hovering. This is a harmless fly and the sting-like projection at the front is part of the mouthpart which it uses to probe nectar from flowers. Something similar to the way a humming bird feeds.

Bee-fly Bombylius major resting on leaf litter. Common this month. 16th April '15 Photo © Colin Carron  8th April 2015 

Bee fly Bombylius major. Despite its appearance it is a harmless fly. Often one of the earliest flies to appear in the spring it seeks a piece of bare ground or a dead leaf on which to sun itself. Feeds on pollen and nectar.

13th May 2016. Photo © Colin Carron.

Bee-fly Bombylius major. A harmless fly which enjoys the sunny days in early April, usually resting on dead leaves. Common in the South.3rd April 2017.  Photo © Raymond Small.

A tiny gnat like fly with long threadlike antennae and two wings which are patterned.  Order Diptera (two wings) True flies Sub order Nematocera (thread horns) Mosquitoes, Gnats, Midges and Craneflies.  Genera Macrocera (large horns) Fungus gnats  Macrocera phalerata - a fungus gnat

Identified with thanks by Tony in the Bug Forum of The Natural History Museum's NaturePlus team. Photographed on the back of an English oak leaf on 6th September 2015  ©  Brian Ecott.

Cranefly Epiphragma ocellaris  22nd May 2012 Photo © Michael Rumble

Crane fly  Nephrotoma sp.   24th June 2013

Common Cranefly Tipula oleracea  28th September 2011

Common cranefly Tipula paludosa female on Michaelmas daisy. 9th October 2016.  Photo © Raymond Small.

Cranefly Nephrotoma appendiculata  pair hanging from Blackthorn bush. The adults feed on Cow parsley and the larvae live in the grassland. 4th May 2015.  Photo ©  Michael Rumble

Cranefly Tipula vernalis. 24th September 2011

LEFT: Cranefly on Global cawindow.

The picture above - a body close up shows two club shapes organs which are replacing the second pair of wings lost in evolution.


 In two winged flies (Diptera) the halteres provide a means of encoding body rotations of yaw, roll and pitch during flight. This enables the insect to make corrections to enable a smooth flight.

CULICINE MOSQUITO Larvae and Pupa. Culicine mosquito larvae hang down from

the surface water film by means of a breathing tube. The pupa is between the two larvae.

Pictured left on the head of a Spear thistle is an uncommon species of Tephritid fly - a female Terellia serratulae. Its larvae cause galls on thistle heads. Seen in the picture is the short ovipositor used to deposit eggs into the thistle flower head. Thanks to Del Smith Dipterologist recorder for the Essex Field Club for identification.   23rd July 2013

St. Mark's fly Bibio marci. left on young oak leaves 14th May 2010 and above on nettle leaves

St. Mark's fly  Bibio marci  pair. These long-legged flies appear around the time of the Feast of Saint Mark (25th April) hatching from over-wintering larvae in the grassland. Photo ©  Michael Rumble   4th May 2015.    

Saint Mark's fly Bibio marci. On still days these black long legged flies swarm around the young oaks. They were named after St.Mark's feast day 25th April when the flies were said to appear. A variable date - 13th May 2016 this year. Photo © Colin Carron.


The Glittering Green flies  Poecilobothrus nobilitatus are seen walking over liquid mud at Sheepwater. They show a metallic green in certain light. A male (top left in far left photo) is flapping his wings to attract the females feeding here. The wings are large with a brown patch and a white tip. The larger the wings, the larger the male,  making it more attractive to a female. Shown left  - a male has been selected and attempts to mate. Glittering Green flies.   . Photographs © Michael Rumble  25th July 2013 Sheepwater

Greenbottle Lucilia sp. Photo © Michael Rumble  August 2015

Greenbottle Lucilia sp. sunbathing on oak leaves. 5th June 2008

Green bottle Lucilia sp. on Iris leaf 30 June 2013

Greenbottle Lucilia caesar  is old and has developed a bronze colour.

Flesh fly Sarcophaga carnaria

Flesh fly sucking up fruit juice 2017

Flesh fly Sarcophaga sp. The red eyes are wide apart denoting a female. With males eyes almost touch. 3rd November 2015. Photos ©  Michael Rumble.

Fly Graphomya maculata Female. Hoghill. 6th August 2012.  Sexually dimorphic species. Male has yellow wings and abdomen.

Tachinid fly Tachina fera on creeping thistle  Photos © Michael Rumble

  Fly Tachina fera on Creeping thistle. Photo © Michael Rumble

Fly Tachina fera on ragwort Photo © Michael Rumble . 13th July 2016

Fly Tachina fera on ragwort Photos © Michael Rumble . 13th July 2016

Fly Eriothrix rufomaculata on Creeping thistle. Photo © Michael Rumble

 Tiny Picture wing flies. Note the malachite-green eyes, and the patterns on the wings Photos © Michael Rumble

Black snipe fly pair Chrysopilus cristata. The pair are sexually dimorphic. In the male above the eyes are touching on a large head and the black body tapers, whereas the female is patterned and the eyes set apart. Prominent stigmata are seen on each wing. Identified by "Laverlock" at the Natural History Museum Bug discussion group. 27th July 2015.  

Snipe fly on nettle leaf 29 June 2013   © Brian Ecott

Snipe fly 20 May 2014

Soldier fly - Four-barred Major Oxycera rara (female). With thanks to Del Smith, Dipteran Recorder, Essex Field Club for the identification. On grass stem at Sheepwater. 19th July 2015. Photo ©  Michael Rumble.

Dagger fly Empis sp. on thistle flower. Photo © Michael Rumble 1st July 2016.

Dagger fly Empis sp. 10th June 2016

Tachinid fly on Michaelmas Daisy. Photo © Raymond Small. 24th October 2017.

 Del Smith, Recorder of Diptera, Essex Field Club reports that this is almost certainly a Siphona geniculata female. Parasitic on Craneflies