Balloon Fly - Hilara maura

    Description

    Length about 7 mm. There are around 60 British species in this genus and identification is difficult, for this reason images placed in red boxes can only be said to be representative of Hilara maura.

    Habitat

    Can be seen swarming over water and marshy areas in the summer months.

    When to see it

    Best from May to July.

    Life History

    In the insect world males often present the females with a prenuptial gift of food, usually a small fly, but the males of the Hilara spp. go one step further and gift wrap the present in silk that is exuded from the swollen glands on their front legs. While the female is pre-occupied with unwrapping her present, the male takes the opportunity to mate.

    UK Status

    They are common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known but probably fairly frequent.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map