Downlooker Snipe Fly

The Downlooker Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus) is an insect in the Rhagionidae family of snipe flies. 

The Downlooker Snipe Fly has a slender brown body and six long stilt-like legs. It has a proboscis (sucking mouthpart) that looks like the long, slender beak of a a Snipe bird. Its head points downwards when it rests on an object or tree trunk. It does not have bristles (hairs) like the Housefly. Its wings are translucent (clear) with dark-brown markings. 

Downlooker Snipe Fly

It grows up to one centimetre (a quarter of an inch) long.

It is common across Europe. 

The life cycle is egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The female lays eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larva is a grub. 

The larvae eat rotting wood. When the larvae are fully grown, they look for a suitable place to pupate, such as damp, decaying wood in the base of tree trunks and dead roots of trees. The adult then emerges from the pupa casing. The adult Downlooker Snipe Fly is haematophagous, which means that is sucks blood from animals.  

Downlooker Snipe Fly

Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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