|Hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis) feeding|
Most of these insects are brightly coloured, some are furry and they are like this for a reason. They are trying to look like something else. I'm talking about Hoverflies. That's quite lucky as I saw this earlier.
I saw a dronefly quite similar to the one in the tweet which I think might be a Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax) which I found in the forest last year (click to see my post about that).
- They are true flies (Diptera) and only have one pair of wings, I'm pretty sure that most species of bees and wasps are not true flies and sport 2 pairs of wings.
- They are a pretty varied species - there are 6000 species in the world and about 270 in the UK.
- Most of them are striped like wasps or bees. This is deliberate mimicry! They try to look like another species so that predators will avoid them.
- Apparently if you catch and hold some hoverflies they will also pretend to sting you, pushing the tip of their abdomen into your finger. They have no sting!
- They can be very varied in size, shape and hairiness as you can see in my photos!
- Some species e.g. some Dronflies larvae have long tails which they breath through - these are called rat tailed maggots.
- As their name suggests one thing they do well is hover! If you watch them their heads remain absolutely still.
- Adults eat nectar and they love wildflowers and are important pollinators of them.
|Eupeodes sp - probably luniger or corollae|
- Their life cycle goes from egg, to larvae, to pupa to adult.
- Larvae eat a range of things but many will eat aphids. Some eat decaying plant or animal matter.
|Close up headshot|
|Hoverfly larvae |
- a brave aphid is hitching a lift!
I'm looking forward to seeing it emerge, I just hope it decides to do that while I'm at home.
|Starting to pupate.|
Hope you enjoyed,