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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

07 March, 2016

St Marks Fly: hanging out in woods

St Mark's day falls on the 25th April and it is about then that this fly emerges as an adult and can be seen in woodland across Dorset. That is where it gets its name from, St Marks Fly (Bibio marci).
It is quite a common insect of the spring and quite often will be seen in large numbers. They are quite distinctive when in flight as their legs hang down which is very noticeable and a key identification feature. When the weather is cooler or shady they rest on leaves as they await for the warmth of the sun to get them going again. They are jet black with big brown eyes and, overall, have a glossy appearance.
They are only active for about three weeks and then they are gone. They lay their eggs in leaf litter and rotting vegetation and this is where the larva spends its life, helping to break down the leaves on the woodland floor. 
St Marks Fly: hanging out in woods