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Four-barred Major Oxycera rara

The Four-barred Major is a small soldier fly, measuring some 6 or 7 mm only. It is more rounded than elogated, unusual in soldier flies. Like most members of its genus it is black with yellow markings. The markings make this species an easy one to identify. The Four-barred Major is only found in rather damp places: moors, wetlands, wet meadows, marshes and on river banks. When it is present it is not hiding itself at all: it loves taking a sunbath on a leaf and is quickly discovered by keen eyes. Not much is known about the larvae. So far however they have been found in damp mosses only.

The species is found all over Britain, but it is rare everywhere, or a local species at best. On the European continent it is the same. In the Benelux for instance it is plain rare.