Friday, 21 September 2012

Hover Heaven

Outside our living room window we have a large clump of Canadian Golden Rod and to say that it is attractive to hover-flies is a bit of an understatement, it's irresistible to them! It's been literally covered with them for several weeks, hundreds of them. It doesn't attract many bees or butterflies and those that do alight on it don't linger for long, whereas the hover-flies just stay on it all day and I've even seen some just stop feeding at dusk and remain in situ all night. I took a few photos a few weeks back and haven't found time to put them on here until now. I'd like to have been able to name most of them but with around 250 different species in the British Isles that's not going to happen! I'll attempt a few though. If anyone knows what any of them are I'd be most grateful for any help.

Canadian Golden Rod

This was a teeny one less than a centimetre in length. I would think the swollen back leg may be some help in the identification but I don't have a hover-fly key. Thanks to a phone call from Nigel P. I can now tell you this is in fact a Thick-legged hover-fly (say what you see) Syritta pipiens.

This one was very unusual with blue markings and weird 'marbled' blue and black eyes.
This is Eristalinus sepulchralis again thanks to Nigel P.

This one's a good buff-tailed bumblebee mimic, Eristalis intricarius.

 I know (well I think I do) that this is Heliophilus sp. It appears to have a completely yellow face which I believe makes it Helophilus trivittatus.

The vast majority were these, Drone Flies Eristalis tena. Excellent mimics of the Honey Bee.

Not a Hover-fly. I think it may be Graphomyia sp. I know it's pretty ugly! which can't be said of this... surely...

Harvestmen used to be the only 'creepy-crawley' that gave me the heebie-jeebies, until
I faced my fears to get these beautiful portraits! Actually I reckon they are much more pleasant in close up. Look at those cute little eyes!

This Hover-fly came into the kitchen, It's a superb wasp mimic from a bit of a distance, even buzzing the same. I've no idea what it's called though. Now I do! It's actually a Dead Head Hoverfly (markings on thorax) Myathropa florea. Again thanks Nigel :-)


JRandSue said...

Brilliant Macro captures.

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks John! :-)

Andrew Cunningham said...

The eighth syrphid image looks fine for Eristalis interruptus. Probably the seventh too if it is the same specimen.

I would capture any Eristalinus you see with your coastal location as you could get E. aenus. Not seen the latter yet myself which prompts a hankering for visiting the coast soon.

Must also get some of that Canadian Goldenrod for our garden too.