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Scientific name: Volucella inanis
Size: Wingspan approximately 30mm. Body up to 17mm
Distribution: Found throughout southern England up to the Midlands
Months seen: June to September
Life span: Up to 6 weeks
Habitat: Hedgerows, gardens and parks
Food: Nectar and pollen
Special features: This wasp-like hoverfly is like a smaller and paler version of Volucella zonaria. The broad, waxy looking abdomen has three bright yellow bands. The pale brown coloured thorax has four darker bands running front to back. The wings are tinted brown on the leading edges and a smoky-grey patch at the tips.
These hoverflies resemble wasps for a very good reason. The adults lay their eggs in wasp nests where the larvae feed on the larvae of the wasps.
The scientific name 'inanis' is Latin for 'inane' or 'empty'. Possibly a reference to the lack of stinging organ on this wasp-like insect.