Adur Flies
Flies of the lower Adur Valley including Shoreham-by-Sea

Flies 2006

7 October 2005

This fly rested on a Bramble leaf on the lower slopes of Mill Hill

Phaonia valida

2 October 2005

Without looking this garden fly up, I have got it down as a Bluebottle, Calliphora.

11 September 2005

The upper meadows of Mill Hill were full of hundreds of Crane-flies, Tipula but not a single butterfly was noted in a fleeting passage visit.

The Crane-flies were identified by Dr Dave Skingsley (Staffordshire Universities) from the photograph as Tipula sp., possibly Tipula paludosa or Tipula olaracea or as I  the wings cannot be seen clearly it might be Tipula vernalis.

23 August 2005
Flies and a Pyrausta aurata moth seen on the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the Toll Bridge
Not a bug but a fly of some sort
1 August 2005
New Monks Farm Elm Corridor (northern end)

This must be Empis livida, one of the commoner, larger dance flies that is still about in September. One of the characteristics is that the medial veins just do not reach the wing margin and that is just visible in this picture.

ID and comment by Paul Beuk on Diptera Information
1 August 2005
New Monks Farm Elm Corridor (northern end)
1 August 2005
Cerajocera tussilaginis 

Probably one of the 
Tephritidae "Picture Wing Flies", ID by Nigel Jones on UK Hoverflies

New Monks Farm Elm Corridor (northern end)

31 July 2005
Fly by the path through the Slonk Hill Cutting south side. 
7 July 2005
Yellow and black flying insects are numerous. They can be difficult to identify. This one was a Soldier Fly in the family Stratiomyidae

There was no yellow on the head of this specimen, the species Stratiomys potamidaThe yellow on the head only occurs in the female (which made me doubt my original identifcation).

ID confirmed by Steve Wain
on the British Insects Yahoo Group

It was discovered amongst the Stinging Nettles on the verges of the Waterworks Road, south of the A27 Flyover. 

Checklist of UK Recorded Stratiomyidae

Record and images of Stratiomys potamida in Lancing

Stratiomys chameleon (very rare) comparison image

Another Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee with a long tongue visited a flower in a Shoreham garden, making a loud buzzing sound. It was brown, so this must be the male.


2 July 2005

This orange fly was spotted in the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road.  It is Phaonia pallida, of the Anthomyidae.

ID by Paul Beuk on Diptera Information
7 July 2005

This fly was spotted at the top of The Drive, Shoreham. It is Pollenia sp. possibly Pollenia rudis, of the Calliphoridae.

ID by Paul Beuk 
on Diptera Information
7 July 2005

A very small Dung Fly, Scatophaga stercoraria, at the top of The Drive, Shoreham

21 June 2005 
Adur Levels
This small Tachinid fly was on a Daisy at the western entrance to the Maple Spinney (designated footpath to the Waterworks Road from the west), Old Shoreham. 
Tachnid ID by Dr Dave Skingsley (Staffordshire Universities).
22 June 2005
This fly was discovered with a handul of others on an overgown Slonk Hill Cutting

Tachina fera

24 June 2005
This Grey Flesh Fly,  Sarcophaga, in the long grasses of Mill Hill (near the upper car park) buzzed like a blow-fly it was. The red face is distinctive. 
Photograph by Ray Hamblett 23 June 2005 
Small flying insect in a south Lancing garden
Sawfly or Ichnuemon Wasp?

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

Adur Wasps and other Flying Insects

15 May 2005
Lucilla St. Marks Fly
Lucillia  Blowfly
Both photographs identified by Dr Dave Skingsley (Staffordshire Universities)
A female Bibionid (St Mark's Fly). This is the sort of pose that occurs when they die following infection with an Entomophorales fungus

10 May 2005

New Monks Farm Central Corridor
 One of the Argyra family of the Dolichopodidae or Thick-headed Flies

ID by Charles David on
UK Hoverflies and by 
Stuart Dunlop (Donegal)
on the UK Wildlife (Yahoo Group)

 This is probably a muscid, perhaps Hebecnema

ID by Charles David on
UK Hoverflies

 Syrphus Hoverfly

Adur Hoverflies

The glossy green insect (first left above) is an Argyra species (Dolichopodidae), probably Argyra leucocephala, though you need to check them under a microscope to be 100% certain.
The third species (above) ia a Hebecnema muscid, probably Hebecnema umbratica, though again you need to check them under a microscope to be certain. They breed in dung and all five species are common.

Identification and comments by Steven Falk (Senior Keeper of Natural History, Warwickshire Museum)

The first identification guide I use for insects is the "Collins Guide to Insects" by Michael Chinery. There are just too many insects for the guide to be comprehensive.
I looked first in the Greenbottles, Blow-Flies and House Flies without making exact matches. They looked similar but not exactly like the "pest" flies of houses and gardens. The path contained horse manure.

9 May 2005
Panorpa (communis)
Panorpa (communis
Longhorn Moth 

Flies of the Pixie Path

6 May 2005
The common Alexanders on the southern part of Mill Hill attracted flies.
Mesembrina meridiana Spotted Crane-fly, Nephrotoma, from the southern part of Mill Hill

The Muscid-fly, Mesembrina meridiana (first and second picture above) was frequently encountered and could be associated with horses, or their dung, and umbellifers and possibly Bramble. The third picture is a Crane-fly. This is definitely a female Tipula species.
Crane-fly identification by Dr Dave Skingsley (Staffordshire Universities).

1 May 2005
The black flies (with dangly bits) are St. Mark's Flies, Bibio sp. and they were abundant and widespread.
29 April 2005


A handful of this crane-fly (image on the right) were observed on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
There were probably a lot more.

Crane-fly, Tipula.

23 April 2005
These small flies (right) were spotted mating on the rosette leaves of a Burnet Saxifrage plant on the top step from the lower slopes to the top plateau of the southern part of Mill Hill. This is an abundant species.

They are a species of St Marks Fly: Bibio anglicus or Bibio clavipes.

The second photograph of this ubiquitous fly was on Alexanders from the Pixie Path

Tilius flies

They are a species of St Marks Fly: Bibio anglicus or Bibio clavipes. The difference in head structure between males and females is characteristic of this family and the colour of the female identifies these species. Bibio anglicus has black hairs on the abdomen, whereas on the commoner Bibio clavipes the abdomen hairs are white.

ID by Chris Shortall (Insect Survey, Rothamsted Research)
17 April 2005
The Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee* with a long tongue and a loud buzzing sound in a Shoreham garden, was misidentified as a bee-fly at first. It was not a fly at all, but a solitary bee called Anthophora plumipes. It is a female (they are black) and the males are brown.
The straightforward conclusion is the intruder with which it appeared to be fighting was the male of the same species and they were mating.
Identification by Sarah Patton on the British Insects Yahoo Group
Full Report
Shoreham Town & Gardens

The buzzing was loud, more like a bumblebee. The red insect is a Lily Beetle.
Web Site with Photographs

15 April 2005
Footpath approach to Mill Hill from the Waterworks Road
These flies were the frequent ones on the Pixie Path running parallel with the A27. The mating pair of Dung Flies were from the Dovecote Bank.
Yellow Dung-fly, Scathophaga stercoraria Yellow Dung-fly, Scathophaga stercoraria

10 April 2005
The Common Bee-Fly, Bombylius major, was still hovering about in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063).

3 April 2005
Afternoon sunshine on the warmest (17.5 ºC) day of the year brought the flying, buzzing, humming and hovering insects out.
Bee-Fly Bee-Fly

Humming along and feeding like a humming bird, with its long proboscis extended and making sudden darts sticking the proboscis into garden primroses, the Common Bee-Fly, Bombylius major, (illustrated above), a bee mimic, is one of the most attractive of the flies (Diptera). It was discovered in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063).

The larvae of the Common Bee-Fly are parasites of solitary bees, (e.g., Andrena, Halictus and Colletes species), where they eat the food stores and grubs of their host.
21 September 2004
The flies on the picture on the right were photographed on the southern part of Mill Hill

This orange one was a Turnip Sawfly, Athalia rosae. It is a common species. 

ID by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)
on the British Insects Yahoo Group

Lancing Sawflies (by Ray Hamblett)

22 August 2004
The road embankment on the south side of the A27 flyover as it crosses the Waterworks Road (at the edge of the horse's field) was home to this ominous loking fly.

The large* brown flying insect in the photograph above was the second time this unidentified and ominous-looking arthropod has been seen in this area. I associated this insect with horse's dung. (* Britain's largest fly.) I had an the impression that it was about to ambush a butterfly, not the Common Blues present but a Meadow Brown.
The insect has been identified as the Hornet Robber Fly, Asilus crabroniformis, (a Biodiversity Action Plan species).

Identification by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on the British Insects Yahoo Group
Hornet Robber Fly (More Information)
Hornet Robber Fly (Extra Information)
Image of the Hornet Robber Fly feeding

June 2004
Location:  Road embankment
Month:   June
A Grey Flesh Fly  Sarcophaga, many similar species (Blow-fly)
Location:  Road embankment (Town)
Month:   June
A Nephrotoma Crane Fly  (confirmed)

26 May 2004
Spring Dyke
 Cranefly is Tipula lunata (female)
ID by Malcolm Storey (BioImages)
 BioImages (Link)
 Snipe Fly is Rhagio sp.
(either R. scolopacea or 
R. tringarius)
ID by Malcolm Storey
 BioImages (Link)
26 May 2004
This sawfly was recorded on vegetation on the Spring Dyke on Adur Levels

It looks like Arge cyanocrocea. The larvae are found on Bramble.

ID by Patrick Roper (RX Wildlife) on the British Insects Yahoo Group

British Insects (Yahoo Group)

Adur Insect Links:

Solitary Bees
Adur Bees, Wasps & Sawflies
Grasshoppers & Crickets
Damselflies & Dragonflies
Small Wasps and other Flying Insects


Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2004 Index pageLink to Adur Nature Notes 2005  Index pageLink to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages