Empis opaca


Length: Male 6 to 9.5 mm, Female 6.8 to 10 mm. This group of flies, sometimes called Dance flies, are predators of other insects, often tackling large prey, using their long, dagger-like snout. This species is distinguished from the very similar Empis tessellata by having red/brown thighs (E. tessellata has black thighs).


Along hedgerows where it takes other insects and nectars on flowers.

When to see it

April and May.

Life History

Males of E. opaca and E. tessellata  present a 'gift' to the female, in the form of a dead insect, before mating takes place. Females will not mate with males who do not present a gift.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map