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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

28 September, 2009

Hoverfly (Metasyrphus corollae)

Just as many of our wild flowers are coming to an end so the Ivy bursts out. An inconspicuous flower perhaps but, nonetheless, an invaluable nectar source for the late summer insects.

Here I found one of the wasp-mimicking hoverflies, Metasyrphus corollae, enjoying the rewards from a newly opened Ivy blossom.

This group of hoverflies is a tricky one and the pattern of the yellow patches on the backs is the key identifier but they can even vary within the same species!

Metasyrphus corollae is one of the most common of our hoverflies and can be abundant in some years, with migratory insects coming in from Europe. It can be found from April through to October and even in to November when conditions remain favourable although it is most common in mid-summer. You can find it on flowers in gardens, fields and meadows, road verges and hedges and waste ground in urban areas.

In this photo the light coloured patches on the thorax look white which would indicate a different species but they were really yellow!