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Downlooker Snipefly (Rhagio scolopaceus)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaDipteraRhagionidaeRhagioR. scolopaceus

The Downlooker Snipefly is a common representative of the the Snipe Fly family. Like other Rhagio species R. scolopaceus are yellow-orange (sometimes darkened) flies with long, slender legs. As the name suggests these insects look downwards when resting and they occur mainly in forests and woodlands. Their larvae feed on earth worms, insects and other small animals that live between the leaves on the forest floor. The Down-Looker Flies are the family's biggest representatives of the family and all but one have peculiar spots on the wings. The measurements of the Down-looking fly are extremely variable. The smallest are some 7 millimeters, while the giants may measure up to 16 millimeters. The body is quite long and tapered. It is brown with black spots increasing in size towards the end. The last two body segments are completely black. In the wing is a black spot near the upper edge. Some veins are accentuated in black. The top of the wings are grey or darker, sometimes almost black, but never as black as the spot near the wings edge is. The Down-looking Fly is seen in May almost exclusively.



There are several other species in this genus. In Holland alone 10 species are known. The species can be told apart by looking at colour, size and the markings in the wings.
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