Anthrax anthrax - a beefly

To identify flies to family level use a simple wing venation key such as A Key to the Families of British Diptera, an AIDGAP by D. Unwin, published by the FSC and available as a free download (scroll down to the titles list) or a more detailed key which includes many physical characters such as The European Families of the Diptera by P. Oosterbroek. The expert dipterists on the DipteraInfo forum are also very happy to identify, often to species level, from good photographs.

Scientific Name: Anthrax anthrax.

English Name: None, a beefly.

French Name: Aucune, une bombyle.

5 Key Characters:
  • very dark body.
  • dark part of wing very extensive.
  • short proboscis.
  • fairly large for a beefly (body length 10 mm)
  • sun loving.
Lookalikes: Hemipenthes morio, which has a distinctive and clear zigzag edge to the dark patch on the wings.

Habitat: Full sun.

Flight Period: May-June-July-August-September.

Status: Widespread but not particularly common. A parasite of solitary bees.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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