Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Hover-Fly.

One day last week I discovered what I eventually learned was a hover-fly on a flower in our garden. Dashing off to get my camera I was fortunate enough to get some pretty good pics - by my standards - of this individual. 
Helophilus pendulus  Pete Woodruff

The photograph above was featured at the foot of my previous post The Dunlin and two others with the request for anyone who could help identify it and I was grateful for the correspondent who gave me his answer to the ID. 

Helophilus trivittatus/pendulus 

In the photograph above the two hover-flies are shown as Helophilus trivittatus at the top, and Hpendulus at the bottom. The result of my always liking to get to the bottom of any given ID challenge and some research brought me to discover that following a study of the two images and comparing them with the individual in the garden the hover-fly was in fact the more common of the two the Helophilus pendulus.

The hover-flies include some of our most colourful and spectacular flies. There are about 250 species in the British Isles and, as well as their remarkable ability to hover, most of them display a swift, darting flight. Many hover-flies are excellent mimics of bees and wasps, although they are easily distinguished by the much shorter, drooping antennae. The larvae are extremely varied in both appearance and behaviour and include carnivores, vegetarians and scavengers, whilst the adult feeds on nectar....Learning something new every day.  

As for the butterflies - which we're not seeing many of this summer - here's a couple you won't be seeing anyway if you live in the same area that I do, and both are Priority Species for conservation due to loss of habitat resulting in the fall in population.

  Heath Fritillary Marc Heath 

The Heath Fritillary can be found in the south including Kent, Essex, Cornwall, and Devon where 130 Heath Fritillary butterflies were released in 2007 in order to re-establish a colony lost at a site in the county.

Small Blue Marc Heath

And the Small Blue which has the distinction of being the smallest native British butterfly .

Thanks for the butterflies Marc....Excellent.


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi Peter.. great macro and excelents pictures.. Congrat.. A hug..

NatureBug said...

Great set of macros, Pete. Love the little butterflies.