The daddy of all wasp mimics

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 25 June 2013 19:13

Well actually it's a mummy. I netted (and tentatively identified) this female Ctenophora flaveolata (A CRANEFLY) in flight today at Levin Down and I was pleased to see when I looked in the net that it was what I had thought had flown past me. That's right, this is Diptera and not Hymenoptera but I think it has to be one of the most convincing Batesian mimics out there after Volucella bombylans. Although this impressive beast has a conservation status of RDB2, there is also a reference that it no longer warrants such a status. I have only ever seen it once at The Mens deep in a Holly bush next to a fallen Beech but I couldn't get anywhere near it. I was pleased then to get a photo of it today but I was surprised to see a deadwood species flying across chalk downland..

Other highlights today included a male Drilus flavescens, Omaloplia ruricola, Garden Chafers, Orchid Beetles, a tiny Neon reticulatus and several very late Grizzled Skippers.

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