A hoverfly!

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I mentioned that hoverflies eat aphids in my previous post but I actually didn’t know what they looked like. I looked at many, many, many pictures of wasps to identify the insect in the photograph above, but none of them looked right. When I zoomed in for a closer look, I noticed that the antennae were shorter than a wasps and that the body shape was fly-like. So I Googled “wasp like fly” and had my ah-ha moment. The hoverfly was hanging out on an invasive Himalayan Blackberry bush in Stanley Park along with bumblebees, honey bees, ladybugs and damselflies.

12 Comments

  1. We have 256 species of hoverfly in the British isles. I Iinherited the book ” British Hoverflies ” (Alan E. Stubbs and Steven J. Falk) from my Uncle Norman. He was a keen naturalist and artist. The hoverfly on our wedding flowers was a gift from Charmaine and Paula our friends from Dorset and was named in memory of my uncle. See our first post Norman 257.

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  2. This is such a cool photocapture. Also, I did not know hoverflies exist, and now I do, so that’s cool.

    I really like your photographs and drawings–they capture nature so well–so I nominated you for a Versatile Bloggers Award. Just letting you know! Please don’t feel obligated to pass it on or anything if you don’t want to.

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    1. Oo, thank you for the nomination :-)! I’m honoured. I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. I didn’t know hoverflies existed either. I think it is pretty cool when neat creatures suddenly spring into existence in my little world.

      When I saw squirrelwriter in my inbox, it sounded so familiar. I kept saying it over and over in my head and suddenly my head said “Nutty Scribbles!”. Your head games and haikus are awesome.

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    1. I think that if there are just the right number of hoverflies, a garden will have just the right number aphids. Maybe. Aphids are kind of cute in small numbers.

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      1. Yes, adult hoverflies (the fly form) eat nectar. The larvae of some hoverfly species eat insects, others eat living plant matter and others eat decaying plant and animal matter. I think the hoverfly in my photograph is a female American hoverfly (Eupeodes americanus) and her larvae are known to like aphids.

        Thanks for bringing up this point. I’m not very familiar with insect lives. Until recently, I only thought of butterflies as having two life forms. But all insects do. And the larval and adult forms of insects tend to have different dietary requirements, something that gardeners have to consider when they want to attract “beneficial” insects; they need to choose plants and garden environments that provide food and shelter for both adults and larvae.

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