Monday, 21 April 2008

School survey

I was out at a local school today, carrying out a biodiversity survey. One of the lads shouted "Hoverfly". I raced over and immediately knew it was new to me. I couldn't identify it in the field, but once I got back to the books it came out quite easily as Eupodes latifasciatus...a new species to me.

So thanks, boys (I told you there's something new every day).

Imagine first hoverfly of the year, and it's a new one for my list.


Gill said...

Nice :-) Would that be your reflection in its shiny thorax?

OK, so how do you know it's Eupodes latifasciatus?

No hovers here, still far too cold, though I did see a couple of bumbles yesterday.

Stuart said...

It's all down to the shape of the black and yellow bands. This one is fairly standard, so I didn't need secondary clues or microscopic confirmation.

You basically need to sit with the pic in front of you and the book open at the right page. But briefly, the front edge of the black bands is virtually straight, and the two foremost yellow marks are broader than those in Syrphus, and are not as angular as those in Epistrophe. No one feature is enough, but add them all together and it all works out nicely.

And yes, that's my reflection in the thorax.

Germander Speedwell out today.

Gill said...

What's it on (and therefore how big is it)?

Must try to get to grips with hovers this year....

Stuart said...

Allium's about 15mm long.