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Lesser dung fly - Sepsis fulgens
Lesser dung fly - Sepsis fulgens

Lesser dung fly
The Lesser dung fly (Sepsis fulgens) belongs to the genus Sepsis, in the order Diptera, suborder Brachycera, infraorder Muscomorpha (Section: Schizophora; Subsection: Acalyptratae), superfamily Sciomyzoidea, family black scavenger flies (Sepsidae), subfamily Sepsinae and tribe Sepsini. Scientific synonyms for Sepsis fulgens are: Sepsis cynipsea, Sepsis communis, Sepsis concinna, Sepsis tonsa, Sepsis and Sepsis vibrans minimus.
Sepsis fulgens - Top view
Sepsis fulgens - Top view
Sepsis fulgens are commonly found throughout most of Europe, Asia and North Africa. They seem to be rare in the northern part of the Palearctic, however in Central Europe and Siberia, they are the most frequently occurring species of the family Sepsidae.
Fly - Sepsis fulgens
Fly - Sepsis fulgens
The body of adult Sepsis fulgens is usually dark, with a metallic sheen and 2-4 mm in length. The abdomen is roundish with a "wasp waist" at the front and altogether the bodyresembles that of an ant. The wings (malesí 1.8 to 3.3 mm in length, femalesí 2.7 to 3.4 mm ), are completely transparent with a dark spot at the top. Males can be distinguished by the shape of their front legs. Adult flies give off a peculiar smell.
Sepsis fulgens are diurnal and active in Southern Europe from February-November and in Northern Europe from May to September/October. They prefer habitats such as forest edges, riverbanks, streams, lakes, meadows and wetlands, where they can often be found on foliage and flowers in the sun. They live on sweet nectar and other fluids rich in carbohydrates from plants such as common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and goat willow (Salix caprea).
They also feed on dung heaps and carcasses to obtain protein and minerals. 30 000 to 50 000 flies can be encountered at the same time, especially in autumn when they gather to overwinter and to mark their mating spots with special scents in the vicinity of their winter habitats for next year. In extreme cases, several hundred thousand can gather. In spring, after overwintering, the flies meet up at the marked places. Male Sepsis fulgens usually then visit dung-heaps where they await females for mating. The mating takes place at another location later on.

The female flies lay their eggs on dung-heaps or compost heaps. From the first or second day after hatching, the larvae begin feeding on feces or rotting parts of plants. At the end of their third larval stage the fully developed larvae turn into pupae. This happens in the dung or compost or in the soil below it. From egg to adult fly can take 14 to 32 days.

Parasitoid mites like Bonomoia sphaerocerae and Macrocheles insignitus are the natural enemies of Sepsis Fulgens. These mites also use the flies as a means of transport. Sepsis fulgens can also can be infested by the nematode Diplogaster coprophila.

Sepsis fulgens
Common namesLesser dung fly
German namesGlänzende Schwingfliege
AuthorMeigen, 1826

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire))))), Ireland), Germany, Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland)), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands)), South Europe (Italy, Iberian Peninsula (Spain)), Central Europe (Czech Republic)
Far East (East Asia (Taiwan)), South Asia (Afghanistan), West Asia (Near East)
North Africa
Tunisia, Morocco

Distribution by Synonymus:
Musca minimus   Taiwan
CountriesAfghanistan, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesSepsis fulgens in
Sepsis fulgens in
Sepsis fulgens in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Lesser dung fly - Sepsis fulgens
2. Sepsis fulgens - Top view
3. Fly - Sepsis fulgens
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Sepsis fulgens
Lesser dung fly
AuthorMeigen, 1826
Micropeza fulgida
Micropeza fulvida
Micropeza nitida
Musca minima
Musca minimus
Musca vibrans
S. communis
S. concinna
S. minimus
S. tonsa
S. vibrans
Sepsis communis
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