The first hoverfly to pose for me in 2012 was this female Eristalis tenax:
|Female Eristalis tenax|
- Notice the very dark abdomen, virtually all black. The orange stripes are virtually invisible, which is due to the colder temperature during winter. These females overwinter as adults, and their offspring will have the benefit of warmer summer temperatures and will mostly have the 'normal' orange stripes.
- I noticed that the 'Eristalis bulge' in the wing vein (arrowed) showed up well in the photograph. This is a very useful feature to learn when identifying hoverflies.
This shot of the face shows the wide vertical black stripe between the eyes, which is a strong indicator for E. tenax (other species of Eristalis have narrower stripes or no stripe):
|Female Eristalis tenax - front view|
Now that the Willow has catkins, the early moths are taking advantage of this vital food source. This is the (male) Early Thorn moth:
|Male Early Thorn moth|