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


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

10–12mm long


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

  • photo

© Tony Gunton