Hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis)

At first sight this might look like a very large wasp - I certainly thought it was as it flew quickly in front of me. It wasn't until it came to rest on some bracken I got a good look and could see it was a hoverfly and not a wasp at all!

Sericomyia silentis is a large insect and it is widespread in Britain according to my reference book. It goes on to say that this insect inhabits boggy heaths, acid wet meadows or woodland clearings and margins with similar peaty or sandy soil. Now, as habitat like that is not widespread I find it hard to understand how the insect can be! However, it does explain why I found this one on Hartland Moor, near Wareham in Dorset.

I have a bit of a soft spot for hoverflies and despite its size and wasp-like appearance this was a really docile little beast who obligingly stayed put despite the intrusions of my camera lens! Many hoverflies are wasp mimics, it gives them some degree of protection it is believed but they are, of course, totally harmless although this one can give you bit of a fright.

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