Masses of dung flies but where’s the dung?

A couple of days ago I found around a dozen of these flies in my garden. They are very distinctive with red eyes and a red crown between the eyes. Thanks to some help from various people on social media they were identified as  Scathophaga suilla – a type of dung fly (particular thanks to Andrew Cunningham for the ID).

Scathophaga suilla
From what I can gather the maggots of this fly live in dung are are predatory on other species also living in the dung

And herein lies the mystery – what dung are they using? There are no cows nearby and although there is a pony paddock adjacent to my garden the owners of the horses clear up their dung every day and bag it up for people’s allotments.

Cats are regularly seen in my garden as are badgers and foxes – a mystery that may never be solved! Any ideas?

One thought on “Masses of dung flies but where’s the dung?

  1. Perhaps they have migrated like gulls to landfill or dog waste.
    Every cowpat on the farm I grew up on was invaded almost as soon as the last plop had left the cow but farmers (&equine keepers) are using so many wormers now I don’t remember the last time I saw a dung fly.
    One of my endearing childhood memories was watching flocks of gulls following the plough.
    Now to watch gulls you’re better at the landfill.
    The countryside we all love has become a very toxic place indeed.
    Even the poop isn’t safe. 😉

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