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Hoverflies (Syrphidae), tribe Eristalini

Moderate to large hoverflies, bee, bumble-bee or wasp-like. Larvae live in organics-rich water.


Eristalis arbustorum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Eristalis arbustorum
  • Cambridge: 29 Jun 2002
  • Length: 7mm
  • A pale specimen with distinctive shape of the orange markings. Other specimens are dark without the markings.
  • All tarsi dark.
  • No face stripe on live insects.

Eristalis intricarius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Eristalis intricarius
  • Cambridge: 5 May 2001
  • A notable bumble-bee mimic (but not to any particular bee)
  • Legs partly pale unlike Merodon spp.
  • Dark crescents on wings also distinctive.

Eristalis pertinax (Scopoli, 1763)

Eristalis pertinax
  • Cambridge: 4 Oct 2000; Female
  • Generally similar to E. tenax below (amount of orange varies) with:
  • 1st & 2nd tarsi orange-brown
  • Eyes bare
  • Face generally dark with no sharply defined stripe.

Eristalis tenax (Linnaeus, 1758)

Eristalis tenax
  • Cambridge: 24 Sep 2000; Female
  • Generally similar to E. pertinax above (amount of orange varies) with:
  • 1st & 2nd tarsi dark, nearly black
  • Eyes with dark bands of hairs
  • Prominent broad stripe down face.

Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Helophilus pendulus
  • Cambridge: 14 Apr 2002
  • By far the commonest UK species of Helophilus, which are distinguished by the yellow striped thorax.
  • Hind tibiae yellow on basal two-thirds (better seen here on the left leg)
  • Black stripe on face, (not visible from this angle)
  • Larvae filter food from drains & manure

Helophilus trivittatus (Fabricius, 1805)

Helophilus trivittatus
  • Cambridge: 14 Jun 2002
  • Noticeably larger and brighter than H. pendulus: rear abdominal segements are proportionally longer too.
  • No black stripe on face but may be some reddish-brown

Myathropa florea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Myathropa florea
  • Cambridge: 29 Jun 2002
  • Thorax black partly bisected with pale bars. Nothing else really like this in the UK.
  • 9mm long.
  • Larvae live in rotting wood, filtering food.
  • Myathropa appears to be an earlier spelling than the variant Myiatropa

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