The Common Oblique Syrphid
Success at last! I have been trying for years to photograph one of these “hover flies” on a flower or “sitting still”.
Click on the photo for a better look at this beauty.
(Hover Flies or Flower Flies)
The flower Flies very closely resemble wasps and bees. In Europe they are more commonly called Hover Flies because of this ability to hover. Despite their appearance, they are harmless (unless you are an aphid). They are also very valuable pollinators of flowers.
The larvae of this Subfamily are primarily aphid predators. Adults have bare humeri (postpronotal lobes), though these are often hidden by the concave posterior of their close fitting heads.
Explanation of Name:
allo is Greek for other, another, different
grapt is Greek for inscribed, painted, marked with letters, written
obliqu is Latin for oblique,
The male obliqua has pale crescent-shaped bands on third abdominal tergite. (This one is a male). 2 other male characteristics are: eyes together and a broader abdomen (Not tapering). It has transverse yellow bands on the abdomen, and two oblique yellow marks near the tip. The larvae are smooth and green, with a broad white median strip. The breathing tubes are prominent.
6-7 mm (A. obliqua)
Leave a comment if (1) you have seen a hover fly, (2) you like insects, or (3) you just like the photo.
Borror, Donald J. , Richard E. White, INSECTS: Peterson Field Guides
Eaton, Eric R., Kenn Kaufman, Kaufman Field Guide to the Insects