DESCRIPTION: Up to 8mm. Known as the Black Snipe Fly this small insect is best identified by the wing venation and the dark fleck on the outside of each wing. The female is heavier looking than the male and has a creamy grey, hirsute abdomen. Males are slimmer and have a hairy blackish/brown abdomen, but in both sexes the abdomen hairs can be worn off with age. The male's tail end of the abdomen is quite pointed and tends to curve underneath the body. BEHAVIOUR: Perches up and catches small insects as they fly by. The larvae live in leaf mould or mud, are also carnivorous and are said to have toxic properties. HABITAT: Usually found in damp meadows, near ponds, marshes, shaded woodland or riversides. PERIOD: Late April to late July.
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