Fig 1

DESCRIPTION: Approximate length 9 - 10mm. The Splayed Deerfly is a medium sized insect best with females best recognised by the first two abdominal tergites which are yellowish in colour and the black splayed marking. Wings are well marked with an extensive clear patch near the anal margin. The eyes are distinctive with a red and green reflected patterning. The legs are black, included the tibiae on the middle pair of legs. Males have more extensively darkened wings with black abdominal tergites, although the sides of tergites 1 and 2 may be narrowly orange. The face has large bare spots that almost meet in the middle line and a distinctive pattern of pale-dusted patches occupy about one-third of the area. BEHAVIOUR: Feeds on large mammals including cattle, horses and deer and, man. Females attack in pairs and usually land and bite on regions of the victims head. Adult males and females feed also on nectar and pollen of flowers. Egg laying takes place near water. Larvae feed on organic matter in mud and silt at the edge of streams and rivers. DISTRIBUTION: More common in southern Britain and becoming rarer more northwards especially in Scotland. HABITAT: Wet woodland, bogs, marshes and damp riversides with thick vegetation. PERIOD: May to early September, peaking from late June to late July.

Back to Gallery