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Small Fleck-winged Snipefly Rhagio lineola

Measuring 6 to 8 mm only the Small Fleck-winged Snipefly is the smallest Snipe Fly in Britain and Ireland. The animal has one dark spot in each wing, which means the only look -a-like is the Large Fleck-winged Snipefly (Rhagio notatus), which is considerably larger, reaching a length of 10 to 13 mm. Another difference is in the legs: those of the Large Fleck-winged Snipefly are almost entirely black, while those of the smaller version are yellowish mainly. The adults are hunters. Main prey are smaller flies. They may be seen in numbers on foliage in sunshine from May to September.

The larvae live in moist soil and hunt for earth worms and soft insect larvae. They may live in bigger worms or larvae parasitically. They prefer wet woodlands and are very often found near willow or alder trees. A very common species all over Britain, but not often observed in gardens due to the preferred habitat. Still it is probably just as common as the Down-looking Fly is.