Marmalade hoverflies by Annabel Tipper 1/1

Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus

This small hoverfly is one of the most abundant hoverfly species in Norfolk in late summer. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest hoverflies to identify as between the three main black stripes across its abdomen it has two slim secondary stripes.

The marmalade hoverfly’s larvae are nocturnal predators of aphids and are considered important in biological control of aphids on commercial crops. Adults feed on nectar from flowers. Mated females seek colonies of aphids near which to lay their eggs.

Conservation status

Though many species of insect are declining alarmingly, the marmalade hoverfly remains abundant in Norfolk and is currently of no conservation concern.

Details

Did you know? A batesian mimic is a harmless species, such as the marmalade hoverfly, which has the warning colouration of a dangerous species, in this case a wasp. The danger to both species is that predators may discover that the hoverfly is harmless and assume that the wasp is too.
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