Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 09/07/2010

The Internet..


Common Hoverfly… or is it?, originally uploaded by andyskelton.

.. can be a wonderful resource but at times nothing can beat researching things in books. This, however, can still be a very confusing area when trying to identify wildlife; I currently have around 20 books I reference when identifying fungi, plants, insects, birds etc. I’ve recently acquired a rather good DK wildlife book which has multiple photos per item helping especially with butterflies that have their wings closed most of the time and which only appear in reference books with their wings open! It turns out the insects that I’ve been referring to as Common Hoverflies could, and I use that word cautiously now, be a Drone Fly or Eristalis tenax.

To confuse matters even further, Myathropa florea looks very similar to Eristalis tenax (how can it, it’s not even in the same family?) but is slight lighter. Unfortunately I didn’t have a colour (or color for our cross-continent brethren) swatch with me at the time so I can’t put my hand on heart and say which classification to use.

On a side note, the lavae of Myathropa florea remind me of some people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting as it has a “breathing syphon out of it’s rear end” which it can probably talk out of as well!

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