Friday, 30 May 2014

Vagrant Hoverfly Eupeodes corollae

I'm not 100% certain on the ID, as it could be Eupeodes luniger. Both are common & widespread in the UK and can be found in gardens. These were taken yesterday in my Essex garden.

This Hoverfly bears a resemblance to a wasp being then protected from predators. This is in fact a harmless insect.

The abdomen shows yellow markings on a black background. The eyes are hairless.
The lateral yellow marks are close but do not join on the female. Those of tergites 3 and 4 are coma-shaped and thin. These yellow marks join near the end of the male's abdomen. They are wider and more square-shaped on tergites 3 and 4.

The Vagrant Hoverfly has a very quick lifecycle and there can be 6 to 7 generations in one year.
Each female can lay 1000 eggs and each larva can eat 800 aphids. This is why this is a very useful insect already employed to protect some plantations.

There is a possible confusion with Eupeodes luniger and with other species of the same genus. The yellow marks on tergites 3 and 4 show a small black border on the sides of the abdomen on Eupeodes luniger. This border is missing on Eupeodes corollae. Female Eupeodes luniger has a small Y-shaped black mark on the forehead.

If you are sure which species it is please do let me know, I believe it is a female Vagrant Hoverfly!

Text information can be found here