bugbitten's picture

Magenta winged fly

Observed: 5th July 2011 By: bugbitten
Magenta Winged Fly for iSpot

(Originally posted without a picture. No suggestions offered - perhaps thought "inappropriate", or photo needed. Observation edited 29/12/2014.)
In unmown grassy wildflower meadow, calm sunny afternoon. Fly, about 20mm wingspan, wings bright magenta, body "heavy" so agility roughly like a bumble bee's. About 6 seen, ignoring each other. Seen same place last year too.


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


ophrys's picture


I don't recall seeing your initial post and I can't find it when I look at your postings. Someone usually replies if they see the posting.

Anyway, having just spent the whole day running tachinid flies through keys under a microscope, and finding some of those very difficult, I think that guessing at a species purely from a description is usually a waste of time. You describe a large fly and with magenta wings it should be obvious, but I can't place anything similar and looking like a bumble bee (unless it was actually not a true fly....). Phasia hemiptera can have colourful wings and can be large, but it would be unusual to see six together. Not sure...


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bugbitten's picture

Thanks for your contribution.

Thanks for your contribution. I've googled Phasia hemiptera images; the vivid magenta is missing, and the body was darker. They were so close at times that, if I'd had a net, I could have caught one.
Apologies for any problems arising from my ignorance: no ?dipterist, and this was my first iSpot observation.

Mydaea's picture

The location name and map do

The location name and map do not match. If it was in France rather than Dartmoor Xylocopa violacea is a possibility but that is not a fly but a bee. You are asking rather a lot ...

bugbitten's picture

I've checked both GRs

I've checked both GRs (lat/long & OSGB) and they're accurate.
"Ashwell Ln, Dartmoor National Park" was, I think, provided by iSpot's mapping link. It probably covers roughly 1km square, and includes the GRs given, so I reckon it's accurate enough to avoid confusion with France.
Google images of Xylocopa violacea show splendid violet wings. Not what I saw.
"You are asking rather a lot ..." Six months ago, I'd have agreed. But "magenta wings", a very clear (and apparently very unusual) description, seems to have defeated iSpot ...!

Mydaea's picture

My point was that the

My point was that the displayed map and the location did not match in my browser (and still don't, the map being centred on N France). However, I see that the marker is indeed on Dartmoor.

Jonathan's picture

Could it have been a beetle?

Could it have been a beetle? Some of those have iridescent purple wing cases.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)