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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!

01 December, 2016

Eriothrix rufomaculata: a parasitic fly



When I first started out nature watching I really struggled with Latin scientific names. I may have been a Grammar School boy but I didnot study Latin although I had the chance too! Anyway, after many years I have started to pick up bits and I know that rufo is red, from our word rufus of course. Maculata means spotted and so this fly could be called the spotted red fly but it is not, it is just known by its scientific name Eriothrix rufomaculata. It is red and does have black spots so it is an appropriate name.
Being a parasitic fly it lays its eggs in moth larvae, in fac in crambid moth larvae. Crambid moths are a selection of tiny insects, long and thin when at rest, that fly up as you walk across unimproved grassland ansd so that is exactly where you will find this fly. It emerges as an adult in July and August and is quite widespread and can be very common where it occurs.
Eriothrix rufomaculata: a parasitic fly