First hoverfly of the year – Eristalis tenax – or pertinax
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 myiasis – in the rectum of humans.
There is a good UK hoverflies site here –
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.