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Mesembrina meridiana: the noon day fly

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Mesembrina meridiana: the noon day fly

Although this fly is categorised along with the group known as house flies Mesembrina meridiana is unlikely to be found in houses. Instead, it prefers sunbathing whilst tucking in to a meal of nectar from umbellifer flowers (Hogweed, Cow Parsley, Wild Angelica, etc) or, later in the year when these are mostly over, Ivy. This habit of sunbathing gives it its nickname of the noon day fly.

This is a large fly which is quite distinctive because of the orange/brown colouring at the top of the wings. It is mainly black all over otherwise. 

Like most flies their life cycle is pretty unpleasant when viewed through human eyes. It lays its eggs in cow dung, each egg in a different pat. The larvae are carnivorous and feed on the larvae of other insect species that are, in turn, feeding on the dung. By only laying one egg in each pat it ensures that they do not eat each other. That may make Mesembrina meridiana a bit of a dirty character but that is life in the insect world! It may be something of a rogue but I think it a strangely attractive one!

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 1 year 6 months ago

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