Honey Bee mimicry

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 20 October 2010 19:06

This is actually a hoverfly Eristalis pertinax, not a Honey Bee. It's a pretty convincing mimic and I saw loads of them today nectaring (with Honey Bees) on some Ivy blossom that was catching the afternoon sunlight. I am always surprised how great a nectar source Ivy is this time of year, it's even worth checking it at night for moths. Eristalis pertinax looks quite like the Drone Fly Eristalis tenax but that has all dark legs, the front and mid tarsi are yellow on pertinax. This is one of the commonest hoverflies and I see it from earliest spring well into autumn (but not so often in mid summer). I also saw several Melanostoma mellinum, which was a new one for me. I am now only three away from 3000!

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