If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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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!

30 May, 2016

Yellow Dung Fly: pat-a-cake pat-a-cake

Not all nature is beautiful to look at but that does not mean we should not look at and appreciate all nature!
Found mainly around cow pats the yellow dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) is, perhaps, not one of natures most beautiful designs and their habits are not really what we humans like to think and talk about but they do an essential job in keeping our environment in balance. I cannot imagine how deep we would be in cow pats if it were not for the umpteen million dung flies that lay their eggs in them. Those larvae munch their way through the pat and then change into adults to fly off to another pat to set their young to work on the next one!
Out in force by the end of March these little yellowish brown flies are visible in adult form right through until October, possibly even later in the year if we avoid frosts. They are far less common now than they were a few years ago. Farmers now feed cows antibiotics as a normal part of their diet and this affects the fly larva's ability to survive in the cow pat.
You may not like creatures like this, but we could not survive without them doing the dirty work! 
Yellow Dung Fly: pat-a-cake pat-a-cake