The hoverfly - Merodon equestris, June 28th '16

The hoverfly - Merodon equestris, June 28th '16

It is interesting to compare the colouration of this individual with that of the photo of M.equestris taken by Des (three photos previously).
This hoverfly species is notable for its different colour forms, of which two are clearly shown in theses two photos. The photo taken by Des shows the colour form known as Merodon equestris equestris, which has the front of its thorax coloured with a band of tawny hairs at the front and behind this a band of black hairs. The abdomen is reddish, though can sometimes be whitish or buff.
The colour form in my photo here is M. equestris narcissi, which has a tawny (reddish here) thorax and tawny (yellowish here) abdomen.
Merodon equestris is a bumblebee mimic, where its various colour forms approximate the appearance of several species of bumblebee. The adult hoverfly lays its eggs, at ground level, on the leaves of bulbed plants like bluebells. The larva then feeds on the bulb. However, Merodon is not fussy about which kind of bulb it will attack and the larvae can cause large scale damage to daffodils and narcissi bulbs.

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