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Thread: Mystery Hoverfly

  1. #1

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    Mystery Hoverfly

    Finally, the hoverflies are out and there were quite a few around the Margaritas today. Most of them I could identify. This one I can't. It's not a particularly good shot (both wings should be sharp) but I would like to know what it is. I have never seen one before and no amount of searching on line identifies it. I've even looked at Bees, Wasps and Hornets even though there is no evidence of a sting. Can any one help?

    Mystery Hoverfly

  2. #2
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    I'm not an expert, or anywhere near one, but it looks like Eristalis pertinax (the tapered drone fly) -

    http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/tapered-drone-fly.

    Not a bad photo at all IMO. I assume the DoF is in millimetres.

    The recent good weather has certainly brought out a lot of hoverflies and butterflies.


    Dave

  3. #3

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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    Thanks Dave, I think you've nailed it. There were a couple more today and the orange patches described in your link are quite marked - see below. It didn't behave like a hoverfly and so I did have my doubts but it seems it is one.

    Mystery Hoverfly
    Last edited by John 2; 29th July 2013 at 02:41 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    It is an Eristalis species, John. The deep loop in that wing vein proves it.

    But not E. pertinax. Check out the front and mid leg colours. Pertinax has all yellow tarsi (toes) on these legs.

    The dark wing stigma seems too large and fuzzy for E. nemorum (previously interruptus) so that makes me think about E. arbustorum. But it needs a shot of the face to see if there is any dark face stripe to be certain.

    You can't identify this family just by colours, they are too variable.

    No matter how many excellent shots you take, the vital angle will always be missing!

  5. #5

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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    Thanks Dave. That is even closer because the light coloured body rings are more defined on the E. arbustorum. That matches what I am seeing more. The nearest to a head shot that I managed is below. Not sure whether it provides the necessary detail.

    Mystery Hoverfly

  6. #6

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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    Ignore body colours with Eristalis, John, they are simply too variable.

    Any dark face stripe should be visible from that angle. So the absence of any marking means E. arbustorum; and this is a female.

  7. #7

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    Re: Mystery Hoverfly

    I'm genuinely impressed. I don't suppose you know her name as well. That's great Geoff. Thanks very much for your help and sharing your knowledge.

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