I'd like an id for this fly if possible please. I have done a bit of research and given its bright orange eyes I think it may be a kind of fruit fly but I can find nothing quite like it. Location is my garden in Addlestone, Surrey
Many thanks - set me off and I found this link to Scathophaga inquinata looks remarkably like one of these except normal habitat is Pond edges and wet meadows - neither of these close to my garden!
That does look very similar.
When it comes to separating down to species, Dr Stuart Ball's key on Scathophagidae is an excellent resource
Based on that, yours appears not to be Scathophaga inquinata, because that species has plumose arista
More likely, it is Ss. lutaria or furcata.
Distinguishing between these species requires consideration, not only of the arista (which seems bare in yours), but other characteristics, some of which may not be adequately visible in your photo.
So you may have to accept a guess at the species. I leave you to make it.
Thanks again. This looks, especially to a non-expert, to be a tricky one. I know from other insects that full id can often only be made through a microscope and that photos are not really the best identification method.
However, I think I'm going to have to leave this at Scathophaga sp.
I've taken a look at the link you gave me and my specimen looks to have a dark marking on the outer side of the front femora as described in the pdf so lutaria or furcata both possible. However, it also mentions that lutaria has plumose arista which would bring it back to furcata. None of the photos on the pdf have such bright orange eyes but I suppose that could be because they are dead specimens.
I think I'll go for a possibly Ss. furcata
That sounds reasonable.
Note that the abbreviation system uses a single character if related to just one species, and a repeated character for the plural. Hence, assuming Scathophaga is already in context, one could write S. furcata.
I used (above) 'Ss'. because it related to two species.