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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2017-10-24 22:17:58

Alan Outen
DF Members
Name: Alan Outen
Registered: 2010-06-24
Posts: 847

A fly species in vast numbers on the Kent coast

This very bristly fly species was swarming in abundance at St Margarets Bay, Kent on 22 Oct 2017. They were all over the ground and also settling on parked cars as well as flying all around us. There must have been many thousands as there were at least 400 on one car alone. Individuals were however never settled for long but constantly manoevering, which made photographing them and catching individuals very difficult. (I did not happen to have a net with me!). I ended up having caught three which I still have - all of which were females. They are about 6-7mm long. I would be very interested to know what these are and whether this behaviour is typical of this species. Any suggestions will be very greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Alan


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#2 2017-10-24 22:52:13

Stephane Lebrun
Registered user
Name: Stephane Lebrun
From: Le Havre, FRANCE
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 599

Re: A fly species in vast numbers on the Kent coast

This is Coelopa pilipes (Coelopidae).

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#3 2017-10-25 10:04:35

Alan Outen
DF Members
Name: Alan Outen
Registered: 2010-06-24
Posts: 847

Re: A fly species in vast numbers on the Kent coast

Many thanks Stephane. Living well inland this is a new family to me.

Is this large number of individuals exceptional?  Is the species normally this numerous or is this a seasonal phenomenon?

Alan

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#4 2017-10-25 12:53:58

Howard Bentley
Committee
Name: Howard Bentley
Registered: 2008-07-07
Posts: 765

Re: A fly species in vast numbers on the Kent coast

When conditions are right, i.e. large quatities of rotting seaweeds lying about on beaches, the Coelopidae can appear in very large numbers, and St. Margaret's Bay is an excellent site for this. Catches are worth looking through with some care as you may also find the other Coelopa species, and the large brown Sepsid Orygma, which looks rather like the Coelopids at first glance and is found in the same habitat.

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#5 2017-10-25 12:59:38

Alan Outen
DF Members
Name: Alan Outen
Registered: 2010-06-24
Posts: 847

Re: A fly species in vast numbers on the Kent coast

Many thanks Howard. That is extremely helpful information,. Next time I am in Kent I will certainly visit the site again being sure to take a net with me!

Best wishes

Alan

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