Hoverfly: Xylota sylvarum

Whilst sharing several anatomical features that enable them to be grouped together as a family, within the group hoverflies can be very diverse in appearance. They come in various colourations, sizes and shapes. Some appear to imitate bees, others wasps and others imitate noting at all! Telling some species appart requires taking a specimen for microscopic examination.
I have to say that this species, Xylota sylvarum, was unlike any other I have seen and at first it never occuered to me it was a hoverfly until rose from the log it was resting on, briefly hovered and then returned to its resting place. It was with the aid of a photograph that I was able to then identify it. It is quite a large species and looks a little like a bee without actually looking like a bee! 
It is a woodland species that does, indeed, rest on logs but it feeds on the flowers of white umbelifer flowers such as hogweed and hemlock water-dropwort. At its peak in June and July it is widespread across much of southern England.
Hoverfly: Xylota sylvarum

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