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First hoverfly of the year – Eristalis tenax – or pertinax

24 February 2012

As I was walking past the Galanthus nivalis I mentioned last week, I spotted a couple of drone-flies on them. The flowers are behind a railing under a Plane tree, so I could not get close, but the photo looks to me to be a female. No, I have not got eyesight good enough to spot the genitalia – in many dipterans the male has eyes that are closer together. Seriously! Eristalis tenax  is a native in the UK and Europe, and has spread around the world, perhaps with human help. Take a look at this great website with some fabulous pictures – http://bugguide.net/node/view/314925

This was taken on Tuesday 21st – a mild enough day. Today it is very warm – shades of a horrible hot and dry summer? I sincerely hope not. The drone-fly larvae will not like a dry summer – they have long breathing tubes and can survive quite happily in polluted water, provided it has a high organic content. Nature abhors a vacuum – evolutionary niches are exploited, given  enough time. There suggestions of drone-fly larvae involved in myiasisin the rectum of humans.

Ouch!

There is a good UK hoverflies site here –

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artmay07/cd-hoverflies.html

NOTE: While I am sure of the genus Eristalis, I am no longer confident of the species as they are very similar unless you can see them closely to check markings on the back and the legs.

One Comment
  1. This is Eristalis tenax – it can be recognised from the dark slightly thickened and feathery curved hind legs, dark hair band on the eye and wide undusted area on the face.

    Can you let the Hoverfly Recording scheme have details of where and when it was photographed please?

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