Sunday, 5 April 2015

My First Hoverflies of the Year

23rd March 2015

It was a calm, warm and sunny day and during a break from gardening I took the opportunity to check out our Choisya Sundance bushes which are generally attractive to many flies as well as other insects such as bees and hoverflies.

There were indeed a good number of flies sunning themselves on the golden leaves and perhaps not surprisingly my first hoverfly of the year, Eristalis pertinax. These are a fairly common hoverfly and appear in our garden at this time of the year.

But what was a surprise was this rather dark hoverfly. This was the first "dark" hoverfly in my garden and, being very inexperienced, I find them difficult to identify as their wings normally cover the markings. This one was no exception. However, I did mange to identify it eventually (with the help of Roger Morris) as Meliscaeva auricollis due to the yellow scutellum, the shape of the markings and the time of year. This was a new species for the garden and a new one for me which brings me to 15 species. What a great start to the year!!

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