Species of the Month: Hoverflies
Help us with our wildlife surveys
Our Species of the Month species surveys are an important way you can help us. Records are sent to DERC (Dorset Environmental Records Centre) who collate this information to build up a picture of the of the state of Dorset's wildlife. So please help us help wildlife by filling in the form below. Thank you!
September Species of the Month: Hoverflies
Scientific Name: Syrphidae
Although often banded with bright orange or yellow, they are not related to bees and have no stinger. Unlike bees & wasps, which have 2 pairs of wings, hoverflies have only one pair of ‘true’ wings and are related to flies. They can be identified as a hoverfly (if close enough!) by a ‘spurious’ wing vein. This is a vein which has a free end, not attached to the wing edge or any other veins.
The adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae eat a wide range of foods including pests such as aphids. A few larvae (rat-tailed maggots) can live in stagnant pools and breath air through a tube.
Can be seen skilfully hovering by flowers when feeding and holding territory – hence their common name.
Did you know?
Hoverflies are an excellent example of Batesian mimicry. Their black and yellow warning colours mirror the physical features of other species which are avoided by predators. There are 270 species of hoverfly in the UK!
Wildlife gardening tips
Hoverflies are generalist feeders, so plant a range of nectar rich flowers to attract them.
Species of the Month sightings form
Your details will only be used by Dorset Wildlife Trust and we will never give your information to other organisations to use for their own purposes. You can change your communications preference at any time by contacting us on 01202 692033. When you have completed the form, please click the Send button.