Common Red-legged Robberfly

Dioctria rufipes


Body length 7.5 - 9mm. This species is mostly black with the front two pairs of legs red.


Woodland edge, hedgerows and grasslands. The adults sit on foliage waiting for prey to come within reach. The adults feed on flying insects and are thought to specialise in ichneumonid species, although the pictures below show hoverflies as the prey (Tropidia scita and Pipizella viduata) as well as a small parasitic wasp. It is not known with certainty what the larvae feed on but they are found in the soil.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread in the southern half of Britain. Much less common in the north. Fairly common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

May to August.