Belted Hoverflies

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Belted Hoverfly

Scientific name:  Volucella zonaria

Size:  Wingspan approx 45mm

Distribution:  Found mainly in the southern parts of England and Wales

Months seen:  May to October

Habitat:  Gardens and parks with plenty of flowers

Food:  Nectar.  The caterpillars feed on various grasses including Cock's-foot

Special features:  The Belted Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) is a large hoverfly, with a chestnut brown coloured thorax, and a yellow abdomen with two broad black stripes (belts).

Although it bears a striking similarity to a hornet this is purely a defence mechanism.  Belted Hoverflies are harmless insects with no stinging organ, but the hornet disguise works to frighten potential predators away.

The larvae live and develop inside the nests of common wasps.

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