New species

Clive Knight has discovered and photographed a new species of fly in the reserve. He writes:

“I checked with Ian and he identified the fly as Mesembrina meridiana, common name noon fly or noonday fly. It’s a first sighting and he is adding it to the species list.”

Mesembrina meridiana, noonday fly, photographed in the reserve by Clive Knight

Mesembrina meridiana is a member of the Muscidae or house fly family. It is a large shiny black fly with distinctive orange colouration at the base of its wings, and yellow/orange face and feet. A nectar feeder, it is a common visitor to gardens where it likes to sunbathe on trees, fences and walls.

During her lifetime, the female lays perhaps four or five eggs in the dung of large herbivores, for preference, cows’ dung. She lays the eggs, each in a separate pat of dung, at two day intervals. This species is ovoviviparous, which means that the embryonic larva is fully developed inside the egg before it is laid, and hatches out almost immediately after. The larvae are carnivorous and feed on other fly larvae in the dung.

Conservation status: EUNIS, the European Nature Information System, says it has little information about this species. It has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List. Nature Spot which records the wildlife of Leicestshire and Rutland classes it as common and widespread.

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