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Yellow-legged Beegrabber Conops flavipes

This family of flies has the name it deserves, but a part of it is also referred to as Wasp Flies. They look like hover flies and the adults can be found on the same flowers as the hover flies. However their larvae are parasites to wasps, bees and bumble bees. The adults are shaped and coloured more like wasps than the hover flies are. There are many species looking just like another. Many Thick-headed Flies can be recognized by looking at the very long antennae, quite unusual in flies. At first sight many people think they are Hover Flies. Actually they are rather closely related to Hover Flies. The female of the Yellow-legged Beegrabber appears to be much darker than the male, for she has only two yellow markings on the body, where the male has three. And usually hers are much smaller than his.

The adult flies measure 9 to 13 millimeters and are seen from May to August. Contrary to the parasitic larvae the adults only eat nectar from flowers. The Yellow-legged Beegrabber is a common species all over Europe. The internet suggests this species does not occur in Scotland and Ireland, but we are no sure about that.

The male is in the top pictures, the female in the bottom pictures.