Hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax)

Hoverflies are everywhere now. As late summer approaches we have many flowers of the daisy family in full bloom, especially thistle, knapweeds and fleabane. These are ideal places to take a closer look.

One of the most common species of hoverfly is this one, Eristalis pertinax. It is quite a large insect with a slightly pointed or tapered abdonmen which is black but with two noticeable white lines across. The thorax is bright orange but with a dark 'X' shape on it.

This insect is actually on the wing continously throughout the summer from March to November but as adults only live three or four weeks it means that there must be almost continuous broods throughout the spring, summer and autumn.

Larvae have been found in farmyard drains and other organically rich areas and so they are very common insects on farms.

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