A widespread but localised species of ancient woodland and other places with old trees. Two very different colour forms exist – the ‘type’ form with a white tail and broad yellow collar (a superb mimic of the Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum) and the all-yellow form ‘oxycanthae’ (a mimic of carder bumblebees like B. pascuorum). The latter is very similar to another hoverfly, the late-flying Arctophila superbiens.
Both sexes visit flowers like Hawthorn and Bramble. Females are often seen flying slowly around stumps and the bases of old trees in shaded locations. They give a superb impression of a small bumblebee looking for its nest . The larvae develop in wet decaying tree roots and probably old rotten stumps, typically of broadleaved species, though coniferous species can be used abroad…Steve Falk
A new hoverfly for me a Meliscaeva auricollis. sorry about the poor quality photo but it was taken on my phone.
Though small and dark coloured, the slanting rear border of the yellow crescent marks on tergite 2, particularly in males, help to identify the species. The spring generation tend to be darker bodied than those born later in the year.
Prefers well-wooded places and is usually found around trees.
When to see it
February to December. This is one of the first hoverflies to appear in the year. A warm day, even in January or February, can bring it out of hibernation.
Larvae are known to be associated with aphid colonies on shrubs such as Barberry and Broom and on the flowers and stems of umbellifers. The adult hibernates.
Fairly frequent in southern England and the Midlands, scarcer elsewhere in Britain…Naturespot
Wing length 7.5 to 9.5 mm. Similar to the much more common R. campestris, but in Rhingia rostrata the thorax is more bluish in colour, there are no dark edges to the abdomen, the legs have more orange and less black and it is generally brighter in colour being yellowy orange rather than a duller brownish orange.
It seems to be found mainly in woodland (especially semi natural woodland).
When to see it
April to October peaking in August and early September.
This species has undergone a major range expansion and is now widespread across the southern half of Britain to North Wales.
On general appearance, Eristalinus sepulchralis is immediately recognisable as being ‘different’ from similar, all black Hoverflies. It’s general stocky build, makes it distinctive as it visits a range of flowers. Found commonly over much of the UK.
The abdomen is shiny black or bronze at the sides and it usually has pale thoracic stripes.
Usually seen around ponds and in marshes where there is a large amount of decaying vegetation, or where cattle trampling and dung has resulted in enrichment.
When to see it
April to October but especially from June to August.
The larvae are known to occur in decaying vegetation in ponds and in wet manure.
Widespread in much of southern England at least and fairly common in suitable areas.
Biology: The larvae are of the ‘long-tailed’, aquatic type and have been found amongst old, wet, rotting wood fragments in a sawmill and from a water-filled drainage ditch on a cut-over peat bog. It is associated with peaty pools in moorland and acid habitats, including bogs on heathlands in the south and east of Britain; poor-fen and wet woodland, including Salix and Alnus carr. Adults are usually found along tracksides or woodland edges, visiting flowers or settled in sunlight on vegetation or bare areas of ground. They are very strong and active fliers and appear to disperse widely, often being found far from water
Distribution: Widespread and abundant in northern and western Britain, especially west Wales, the Pennines and other upland areas of northern England, and in upland Scotland. In the lowlands of southern and eastern England it is much scarcer, probably breeding on heathland and other more acid habitats, although adults may be found some distance from such localities. It is almost absent from most of the English Midlands and rather local in East Anglia
All my hoverfly records end up here Hoverfly Recording Scheme
Nuptual flight of Eristalis nemorum
A small drone-fly and quite similar to E. arbustorum (the dwarf drone-fly). The small but crisp dark patch on the front edge of the wings (called a stigma) helps to identify this species. It also has a clean and relatively thin black stripe down its face.
It can be found in a wide range of open habitats such as meadows, gardens and wasteland.
When to see it
It can be seen from April to October, peaking in July and August.
Larvae have been found in farmyard drains and other similarly enriched situations…. Naturespot