Scaeva pyrastri is a hoverfly that can be readily identified by the abdominal markings: they are paler than most species and the inner part of the curve is further forward than the outer part. In this shot, you can also see the hairy eyes, which separate it from other similar species.
|Scaeva pyrastri hoverfly|
Eristalis intricarius is one of our best bumblebee-mimicking hoverflies:
|The bumblebee mimicking hoverfly Eristalis intricarius|
And just as I was standing up from taking that shot, I saw the very bumblebee that it is mimicking:
|Bombus lucorum (agg) (right) and Bombus pascuorum (left, both workers)|
Helophilus pendulus is perhaps the most common single species of hoverfly on the patch at the moment. I know that there are a few related (but rarer) species that might be around, so I examine each specimen very carefully just in case. Today I got that 'eureka' moment as I found this male Helophilus hybridus:
|Helophilus hybridus (male)|
Here's an archive shot of Helophilus pendulus for comparison:
|Helophilus pendulus (archive)|
The larvae of some fly and micromoth species feed on the seeds of composite flowers such as Knapweed. The seeds are an excellent food source, and the larvae can feed inside the undeveloped seedheads in relative safety.
Notice the word 'relative'; some parasitic wasps are aware that there are larvae inside the flowerhead, and at the appropriate time (now) we can see the Ichneumonids searching the unopened flowerheads. When a larva is detected, the ovipositor is deployed and we see the drilling operation that takes place:
|Ichneumonid ovipositing in larvae inside the Knapweed flowerhead|
Here's an unusual shot of the process from the rear:
A few days ago, I showed a picture of a very atypical Square-spot Rustic. Here's one that looks as if it has read the book and followed the rules: