Hoverfly: Volucella bombylans

This hoverfly has a truly remarkable resemblance to a bumblebee and there is a good reason for it; they lay their eggs in bumblebees nests and to achieve this without being attacked by the bees the adult fly disguises itself as a bee! This is not a parasitic species, however, the hoverfly's larvae feed on debris in the bottom of the nest.
Volucella bombylans comes in three forms. One looks like a red-tailed bumblebee, the one in my photograph looks like a white-tailed bumblebee and there is a much rarer variety that looks like the common carder bee.
This is a widespread and quite common species, especially in woodlands, where the males can be very territorial and defend their territory that they establish in a woodland glade. They may be quite common but

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