Friday 11 June 2010

The footballer hoverfly

With its yellow and black stripy thorax and brightly marked abdomen, Helophilus pendulus is a handsome hoverfly. It is also easy to photograph, as it likes to rest on leaves or the edge of pools and occasionally it can be seen feeding on flowers. This is the most common of a group of closely related species, some of them migrants and some found as north as the Arctic. Their larva are of the long-tailed type and are aquatic, found in small bodies of water with abundant organic material, where they feed. They have also been recorded in cow dung. I have found the adults from April to October. Today, an adult patrolled around a puddle on the pavement on a sunny spell after the last rainy days.

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