Friday, 1 August 2014

The see-through hoverfly

This biggish hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) is sometimes called the Pellucid Hoverfly.  Pellucid mean clear or transparent.  The white middle section of the thorax is actually translucent, you can see sunlight shining right through.
 
It has bold bodily markings, and prettily patterned wings with an amber leading edge and dark brown spots halfway along.  It also has an orange face between the big eyes on either side of its head.
 
 
I read in my insect book that it likes woods and is especially fond of bramble flowers.  This is clearly why it is around now.
 

The males hover just above human head height so you may not notice them.  This one unfortunately died in my conservatory so I kebabbed it on a pin for the photo.
 
The larvae or grubs apparently live in the nests of bumble bees and social wasps (that's the black and yellow stripey jobs so many people love to hate), feeding on the rubbish and even on their hosts' larvae.

There's a good page for recognising hoverflies on www.bugsandweeds.co.uk.

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