GuyLadbrooke's picture


Observed: 12th October 2011 By: GuyLadbrooke
IMG_3960 1
IMG_3960 1 2
IMG_3960 1 2 3

A Mulberry tree covered in these dead flies all gripping the twigs in the same way. The flies are approximately 1.5 to 1.75 cm long with black and white stripes. The Mulberry leaves were extensively eaten by a grub (that I didn't see) leaving the leaves brown and dead.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Refugee's picture

I spotted another

I got curious about another observation and looked it up. It was an interesting read.
It might be worth putting an image of this into fungi too.


GuyLadbrooke's picture

Mulberry flies.

Any ideas about the flies? there were 100's of identical flies gripping the twigs.

Refugee's picture


There was a list of flies that the fungus lives on. I had to google it in order satisfy my curiosity on this one. The scientific name works best. I am not an expert on flies but it should be a common one. There was another one with stripes like that and i think there was an identification on the fly as well.


GuyLadbrooke's picture


thankyou for that my first visit to ispot and a new addiction has started!

Syrphus's picture

I am pretty certain the flies

I am pretty certain the flies are Pollenia sp., perhaps the Cluster-fly P. rudis. This genus has crinkly yellow hairs on the thorax, and I think these are evident in the pics. It would fit with the cluster you describe.

The white stripes are an effect of the infection - the fungus expands the abdomen to stretch the soft membrane between the cuticle plates.

Pollenia are themselves parasitoid on earthworms and other invertebrates, so it is a variation on the theme of 'big fleas have littler fleas'.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on