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fly Inane Hoverflies

Identify It >   Fly Section >   Hoverflies Section >   Inane Hoverflies >

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.

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