Friday, 9 October 2015

Day 329 - Marvelously Happy Marmalade Hoverflies

Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Hey everyone today's Day 329 and tonight my post is a bit later than usual because I've been out at a party (laser quest - awesome!).   Anyway, in July, there were an awful lot of Hoverflies. I saw this particular one in my garden on the lovely Verbascum flowers which attract lots of insects. This particular Hoverfly, like the Dead Head Hoverfly, has a very weird name. It's the Marmalade Hoverfly! Is it because it likes a bit of marmalade on its toast on a morning? Well read on and find out!

So, here are the facts:
Colourful fly on a colourful flower
Sharing the flowers with Pollen Beetles

  • They are probably the most common type of Hoverfly and can be seen all throughout the whole year in some areas of the UK but are in their largest numbers in the summer months.They tend to hibernate through the winter.
  • They like gardens, hedgerows, parks and even woodlands if they're nice and sunny, anywhere that has nice flat-topped flowers.
  • They feed on nectar and their favourite sources are from Tansy, Ragwort and Cow Parsley.
  • Their larvae are actually predatory and eat tiny little critters such as aphids.
  • Females tend to seek out areas where there are lots of aphids around so that they can lay their eggs where there is a good food source.
  • Huge swarms of them often come to the UK from the continent and are most often seen feeding on flowers around coastal areas.
  • Because their larvae eat aphids they are considered a gardener`s friend and can be encouraged by having nectar-rich borders.
Wings closed having a rest
  • No, sadly, it hasn`t got its name because it likes a bit of marmalade... But maybe it would, if you left it some! It got its name because it has a deep orange body with darker stripes, so it looks a bit like marmalade! Some people refer to its stripes as moustaches! 

If you want to find out more try these websites:

RSPB - Marmalade Hoverflys

Wildlife Trusts - Marmalade Hoverflys

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. They are lovely creatures, that amber colour is so pretty! Beautiful captures Zach. - Tasha