Hoverflies

David Attenborough (now Sir) once introduced Hoverflies as superb aeronauts. That, they most certainly are with the ability to hover motionless in a pool of sunlight and yet to dart off in pursuit of a rival in such a sudden manner that you wonder if the behaviour of alien spacecraft in the X-Files or Close Encounters are modelled on them! They mimic bees and Wasps in their black and gold colouration as a defence against predators. Here are a few that I have photographed in the last couple of weeks at Long Lane Pasture. Sometimes they do take a rest stop which helps ๐Ÿ˜‰

Helophilus pendulus on a cultivated Geranium……The longitudinal stripes on the thorax are quite distinctive! Reputedly this is our commonest Hoverfly.

Myanthropa florea resting on a Convolvulus leaf……Note the lines across the thorax in this case.

This is the delightfully named ‘Marmalade Hoverfly’ and she’s distinguished by those pale areas at the end of each segment of her abdomen……she’s grabbing a pollen boost from a Meadow Buttercup. Her scientific name is Episyrphus balteatus but I reckon Lady Marmalade will do just fine ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finally, here’s a shot of Eupeodes corollae doing what Hoverflies do superbly well – hovering!..…The speed of the wings is so fast that they don’t even register on my humble camera – Yet the head remains perfectly still at 1/125th of a sec shutter speed ๐Ÿ™‚ What an amazing piece of micro engineering! I think that calls for a song…

7 Comments

    1. Thanks Amy ๐Ÿ™‚ You may be interested to know that the second shot from the top was taken using the Fuji X-Pro2 and the 55-200mm zoom. The others are from the 5D mkIII with the Sigma 150mm macro lens.

  1. Such marvelous little creatures! I am not familiar with hoverflies but I wonder if Iโ€™ve simply been fooled in the past by the โ€œbee-likeโ€ coloring. I need to pay much closer attention! Well done, Martin. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hi Debra – thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Key identifier for spotting flies pretending to be bees is the antennae. Bees and wasps have them on the side of their heads – flies have small ones on the front of their face. Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

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