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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!

19 October, 2015

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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