If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

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!

17 June, 2011

Hoverfly (Pyrophaena granditarsa)

Hoverflies come in all sorts of guises, some wasp and bee mimics, some quite slim, even very small, and others much bigger and chunkier. One thing that instantly distinguishes them, of course, is their incredible ability to hover and to fly at exceptional speeds - nought to gone in less than a second!

You often do not get much to go when identifying them, the designs on their body being the usual feature but unless they are perched on a leaf or taking nectar from a flower they can be difficult to get a close view of.

With this one, I disturbed it from a bramble bush alongside the river Piddle on Wareham Common and as I did so it revealed a bright reddish orange thorax which may be just discernible from the photograph. To complete the identification I needed my text book on hoverflies that says this species, Pyrophaena granditarsa, is common on marshy meadows with lush vegetation and ditches and if one description describes Wareham Common it is precisely that!

So, no arguments, this is the awkwardly named Pyrophaena granditarsa!