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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!

07 May, 2010

Hoverfly (Epistrophe nitidicollis)

Hoverflies are a real problem to identify, especially these wasp mimics. I am lucky enough to have the definitive guide to hoverflies as I have a real fondness for them (it takes all sorts!) and there are some thirty or so similar species.

This species is, as far as I can tell from the yellow and black markings on the thorax Epistrophe nitidicollis.

This specimen was by a woodland ride in Thorncome Wood near Hardy's Cottage, Bockhampton sat on a tree leaf and. lo and behold, my book says that woodland rides and coppice glades in May provide the best conditions for seeing them.

This is a fairly local species in the south, flies from April to August but peaks in May. I saw several of them in quite a small area.

What was interesting is that they can go from stationary in to flight in an instant and then return to almost the same spot it left just a few seconds later.

This is a male as the eyes are joined together, in female flies there is a gap between the eyes.