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 Bibio clavipes
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Bibio clavipes
Bibio clavipes

Bibio clavipes
Bibio clavipes belong to the genus Bibio, in the order two winged flies (Diptera), the suborder Nematocera, the infraorder Bibionomorpha, the superfamily Bibionoidea and the family bibionids (Bibionidae). Scientific synonyms for Bibio clavipes are: Bibio dorsalis, Bibio flavicollis, Bibio tancrei and Hirtea ephippium. This species of Bibionidae is widespread in Europe and is found en masse in coniferous forests.
Bibio clavipes - Top view
Bibio clavipes - Top view
Adult Bibio clavipes reach body lengths of about 5 mm. They are small and thin and their body shape resembles that of flies. Their bodies are black with a very hairy surface.

The long and steady antennae, whose three outer segments are fused together and can therefore be poorly differentiated from each other, appear to consist of 5 segments. The compound eyes of the males are very large and hairy and are positioned very closely together on the top of the head. . The upper part of their facets eyes consists of large facets since the lower part consists of small individual eyes (Ocelli). The female Bibio clavipes have much smaller eyes than the males. Their eyes are pure compound eyes and are hairless.

The front wings are colourless but have dark markings on their edges. The females have a spike on the tibiae of their front legs which is used for digging.
Bibio clavipes - Front view
Bibio clavipes - Front view
The life span of Bibio clavipes is very short. This species is one of the few bibionids, which are active in September. Bibio clavipes feed on nectar and honeydew and do not sting.

Bibio clavipes reproduce once a year. During mating season, partners come together in large swarms. Fertilization of the females starts in the air and is completed on the ground.
Bibio clavipes - rear view
Bibio clavipes - rear view
The females lay their eggs, singly or in groups of up to 3000, in humus-rich soil. The larvae develop in the upper humus layers of grasslands and forests, among fallen leaves and dead vegetation or near tree stumps. They are hairy in the early stages of development. These hairs later form spiky projections.

The chest segments of the larvae are equipped with 10 pairs of invertebrate tracheae which supply the larvae with oxygen. The larvae can be very large. The larvae of Bibio clavipes are cold resistant and overwinter. They are herbivores but can also feed on carrion. They feed on both living and dead plants. At the end of their development, the larvae pupate in the soil. The pupae are equipped with breathing horns which lengths are limited.
Due to their role as pollinators of early blooming fruit trees, Bibio clavipes are considered ecologically significant. The larvae make an important contribution to the formation of humus in the soil, but can also be harmful to plant roots in winter time or in dry seasons, especially if they occur en masse.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Bibio clavipes
2. Bibio clavipes - Top view
3. Bibio clavipes - Front view
4. Bibio clavipes - rear view
German Flag Bibio clavipes
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