Common Hoverfly. At almost 2cm long, the hornet mimic hoverfly is the largest hoverfly species in the UK. These move up and down, in time with the wings to help control balance in the air. There are a surprising number of hoverfly species and some can look very similar to each other, making positive identification something of a test even for experts. Adults feed on the nectar of flowers, while the larvae are predators of aphids. Yellowish sides to thorax and mostly yellow legs. To enlarge the guides right click on them and open in a new tab. The larger species are often brightly coloured and very common. Unique pattern of double black bars on each abdominal segment. Hammerschmidtia ferruginea (Aspen Hoverfly): A very rare species of Scottish aspen groves. Meligramma: Small species with yellow markings. London, WC1N 3AX, Tel: 0844 892 1817
Spotlight species: common mayfly. (Birds know not to attack a bee as they will be stung but observations using a tame spotted flycatcher, showed that hoverfly mimicry did not fool it – this bird could distinguish between bees and the black and yellow Syrphinae, readily eating the hoverflies.). Merodon equestris: A single common and widespread bumblebee mimic.
Helophilus pendulus is a European hoverfly.Its scientific name means "dangling marsh-lover" (from Greek helo-, "marsh", -phil, "love", Latin pend-, "hang").It is a very common species in Britain, where it is the commonest Helophilus species. the very common Eupeodes corallae (Migrant Hoverfly) also recorded on Shetland. Other larvae hunt for plant lice or aphids. Most UK hoverflies can be identified from external characteristics, although in some cases this will require recourse to a specimen. Flies can regularly be found in homes and businesses across the UK. Migrates from mainland Europe to UK gardens and open country; numbers vary annually. Callicera - Spectacular golden shining hoverflies with long pointed antennae - 3 UK species. Food: Nectar, pollen and aphid honeydew. The male is readily identifiable as its body is longer than the wings, though the pattern of black and yellow is variable with a darker form fairly frequent. Certain species are more common in certain areas than others; for example, the American hoverfly, Eupeodes americanus, is common in the Nearctic realm, and the common hoverfly, Melangyna viridiceps, is common in the Australasian realm. Thick-legged Hoverfly - Syritta pipiens.