Generally larger and greyer than M. cingulatus with a more strongly marked abdomen. There are also differences in details of the antennae and genitalia.
Males of this species are readily distinguished by the projecting tab on the last segment which bears a tuft of black hairs. The tab normally has a forked apex resembling a kite’s tail.
It can be found in a variety of habitats, especially scrubby grassland and woodland edge. It prefers light soils but is not as strongly associated with sandy soils as the similar M. cingulatus.
When to see it
Most likely to be encountered in summer.
Adults are predatory on many other species of flies and other insects. The larvae are presumed to develop as predators in soil.