National Insect Week Day 2 – hoverflies

Hoverflies are one of my favourite groups of insects – many of them are easily identified by their colouration.

Marmalade hoverfly
I photographed this hoverfly in my garden yesterday – it is the Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus – a common species that will be in your neighbourhood too.

Episyrphus balteatusThe species has very distinctive markings and is unmistakable.

Hoverfly books

If you want to learn more about hoverflies there are two excellent books – the top one is British Hoverflies by Alan Stubbs and Steven Falk – it has excellent plates and keys to all the species. With a bit of practice it is not difficult to identify species. The lower book is Britain’s hoverflies by Stuart Ball and Roger Morris – published more recently – it is cheaper and relies on photographs of the species. Steven Falk also has an amazing Flickr site where has has photographed hundreds of species – here is the link to his hoverfly sections – again this is really helpful when trying to identify species.

There is also a national scheme where you can lodge your hoverfly records – see here Hoverfly Recording Scheme  – give this group a go – it will give you endless hours of fun,

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