Another scarce animal in November on my Plym walk

Whilst on my visit to the Upper Plym earlier this week (when we had sunshine) I found this hoverfly on Hen Tor. It has got very distinct yellow quarter moon markings on the abdomen. It is not a species I have seen before so I consulted my hoverfly book and a couple of colleagues and it appears to be Scaeva selenitica. This species is pretty scarce in the UK and lives in conifer plantations where the larvae feed on aphids. A bit of a mystery …..

Hover flyScaeva selenitica 

Scaeva selmapHere is the UK distribution via the National Biodiversity Network

Scaeva pyrastriIt looks very similar to this species which is Scaeva pyrastri – but in this species the markings are a buff white and not yellow

It turns out that Scaeva selenitica is also a migrant – so it is possible that ‘my’ specimen has come from the continent on the southerly airflows we had a week or so ago. Hen Tor has got some form when it comes to migrant insects – a few years ago a biological contractor we employed found dozens of harlequin ladybirds along with the rare migrant moth the speckled crimson there.

So it may be November but interesting things can still turn up. I also saw a hornet at Hen Tor …….


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