Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Day 307 - Bright & Heavenly Bog Hoverfly

The Bog Hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis) on a Teasel
Hi all, Day 307 and you've probably noticed the last couple of days I've dotted around the country with my findings going from Norfolk to Yorkshire. Well today I'm back into Cumbria. When I went across with Dad to see the Bee-eaters we were also keeping an eye out for anything else we might see. After we had been to the quarry where the Bee-eaters were nesting we headed for the RSPB Geltsdale reserve. I didn't find this there though, this was just on a teasel plant on the way back from spotting the Bee-eaters! I was puzzled at first when I saw their name and usual habitats as it seemed quite dry but then I remembered there I could hear a stream nearby the path. This is probably where they usually hang out. Today I'm looking at the Bog Hoverfly. At least I think I am, these are tricky to identify, as I mentioned yesterday there are 250 species of then in the UK and a lot of them look alike - see this page at UK Hoverflies to see what I mean.

So what did I find out about Bog Hoverflies:
Wonderful eyes
  • Dealing with their name first it's probably not a surprise that they like damp boggy habitats.
  • They particularly like acidic peaty areas like moorland, fens and wet woodland.
  • Adults are often found at woodland edges on flowers in the sunlight, exactly where I found this one!
  • They can fly strongly and are often found quite a way from water.
  • It likes to breed in peaty ditches and small pools.
  • The larvae are the type with long tails - often known as rat-tailed larvae. This isn't in fact a tail but a long breathing tube.
A great wasp mimic
  • This tube is what lets it live in some pretty stagnant water full of rotting plant matter.
  • The adult bodies are about 16mm long so this is one of our largest hoverflies.
  • I've got a lot better with wasps lately, I wasn't that keen on them, so I was wary of this bug to start with. They do a pretty good job of imitating a wasp but are completely harmless.
  • You'll find them across most of the UK though they aren't that common. There are more the further north and west you go especially in the peaty uplands.
  • They have a long flying period and you might be lucky to see them anytime between May and November.
Here's a few links to site with more pictures and information:
And a very patient bug or totally not bothered by me!

Hope you enjoyed,


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