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Hoverfly: Epistrophe nitidicollis

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Hoverfly: Epistrophe nitidicollis

The yellow/orang and black hoverflies that mimic wasps are really difficult to identify. I am lucky enough to have the definitive guide to hoverflies as I have a real fondness for them (it takes all sorts!) and there are some thirty or so similar species. This species is, as far as I can tell from the pattern of the markings on the thorax, Epistrophe nitidicollis.  

This specimen was by a woodland path in Thorncombe Wood near Hardys Cottage at Bockhampton. It was sat on a tree leaf and, lo and behold, my book says that woodland rides and coppice glades in spring provide the best conditions for seeing them. This is a fairly local species in the south, flies from April to August but peaks in May. I saw several of them in quite a small area.
 
What is amazing is that they can go from stationary in to flight in an instant and then return to almost the same spot it left just a few seconds later. 
 
This is a male as the eyes are joined together, in female flies there is a gap between the eyes.

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 2 months ago

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