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Scathophaga inquinata

Scathophaga inquinata is very similar to the Common Dung Fly. To tell them apart you must study the antennae. The Common Dung Fly has dark antennae, usually grey or black. Scathophaga inquinata has reddish or yellowish antennae. A new problem occurs: there is another dung fly very similar to this one: Scathophaga lutaria. Of both species the males are covered in yellow and golden hairs and are difficult to tell apart. Luckily our animal is a well developed female. And she has a grey shield (scutellum) and the front leg is brownish, without a black spot. And that makes her a Scathophaga inquinata. In Scathophaga lutaria females have a black spot in the brownish front legs and a yellowish or reddish scutellum. Both species may reach some 11 mm in length, even though males are usually a bit smaller.

The larvae of Scathophaga inquinata are found where they should be found: in dung. Cow dung is the best, of course, but other dung is also eaten. In the picture we see a female with a rather large dead fly. This probably means she is a hunter herself, or a scavenger. The internet did not provide us with the answer. This species is common all over Europe. Exactly how common is hard to tell, due to the fact that most Dung Flies do look rather similar and are frequently misidentified.