Saturday, 25 July 2015

Day 264 - Terribly Diverse Tapered Droneflies

Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax)
Hey everyone today's Day 264 and you'll all know that I love to go to a place called Silton Forest on the North York Moors this is a great place to go to and it is very diverse in terms of what lives there. There are Birds, Deer, Insects and even Lampreys. Today's post, like most ones recently, I will be covering the Insect Bracket of this. There are a lot of different flies that live there such as the Tapered Dronefly. The specific one that you can see in these pictures is Eristalis pertinax.

So, here are the facts:

  • As you'll see in the photo of Silton I found them in a habitat they enjoy, they are found in hedgerows and woodland rides - Silton forest is great for them.
The main track at Silton Forest
- lined with hogweed great for bug hunting!
  • I've seen lots of them this month on the hogweed which has been flowering along the main track in the forest. As adults they feed nectar and can see them hovering around flower blooms.
  • The larvae though live in a very different place! They like drainage ditches and pools near to manure piles. It seems they like water with lots of organic material in to eat.
  • They can live in stagnant water, that is water with out much or any oxygen. They can do this as they have a tube from their rear which goes to the surface for them to breathe. This feature has given them their common name 'Rat Tailed Maggot'!
  • They move to drier places to pupate and the pupa is quite large being 10mm - 12mm while the adult's wingspan isn't much more, It's usually about 15mm.
    Feeding on the hogweed.

  • On top of this, the actual adult length is actually the same length as the pupa.
  • They are very common in England and Wales but they start to thin out the further North you go. In Ireland they are very spread out and hardly seen.
  • They can be found relatively commonly between March and September but they are found most between May and August.
  • They look quite a lot like a Drone Honey Bee so I didn't want to get too close. They do get some protection from this as a predator wouldn't like to eat a Stinging Insect.
Basking in the sunlight.
  • They are hover flies and can hover but also their flight mimics that of honey bees to give it further protection.
  • These flies belong to the group 'True Flies'. This family includes well known sub-species such as Mosquitoes, Crane-Flies and Bluebottles.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. I love the shot of the pathway, Zach, it looks lovely there! Great captures of the Hoverflies as well! - Tasha

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