Nick Upton's picture

Massed Kelp Flies

Observed: 6th July 2012 By: Nick UptonNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in InvertebratesNick Upton’s reputation in Invertebrates
Dense aggregation or "bloom" of Kelp flies (Coleopa sp.) sheltering on sandstone cliff face behind beach, Crail, Scotland, UK, July.
Kelp flies (Coleopa sp.) sheltering on sandstone cliff face, Crail, Scotland, UK, July.
Kelp flies (Coleopa sp.) sheltering on sandstone cliff face, Crail, Scotland, UK, July.
Description:

Tens of thousands of these small, flattened, bristly flies were gathered in dense swarms on shaded faces of a cliff above the strandline on a Scottish beach. Huge numbers of cocoons were among the seaweed below the cliff. I doubt it's possible to ID the species from photos, but they could well be Coleopa frigida which I think is the commonest Uk species and the leg colours and other features look right, but I don't know how to be sure.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

ophrys's picture

Coelopa

Easy to tell apart with a good view, as pilipes has very softly hairy legs in comparison to frigida. Good pictures can be found here...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63075200@N07/collections/72157629600140383/

Ian
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My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Nick Upton's picture

Coelopa

Many thanks for correcting my spelling and for the useful link. The legs are definitely bristly rather than hairy and my original images match C. frigida well rather than pilipes, the only other UK Coelopa as far as I can discover.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.