Flyday: Marmalade hoverfly

Today the spotlight is on the marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus). It is ubiquituos in the entire Palearctic region and it is one of the few hoverflies which can be seen year round. However, the best season to spot them is in the summer.

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Can you tell its gender? Hint: Look at the eyes.

Adults are skilled pollinators, while larvae are professional aphid eaters. Like ladybugs, larvae of the marmalade hoverfly are frequently used in agriculture to mitigate an explosion of aphids. Not only is the marmalade hoverfly nice to see, it is also a very productive fly. So much so that I had difficulties photographing them, because they wouldn’t sit still! Fortunately, the larvae were better models.

 

 

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