foxy's picture

HOVER FLIES ON OPIUM POPPY

Observed: 29th August 2009 By: foxyfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebrates
HOVER FLIES ENJOYING AN OPIUM POPPY
Description:

7 HOVERFLIES NECTARING IN A FRESHLY OPENED OPIUM POPPY FLOWER .BUMBLE BEES ALSO SEEM TO ENJOY ROLLING AROUND INSIDE THE FLOWER HEAD AS WELL.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

tricky

Hi foxy, I think this picture is a good illustration of the difficulties of identifying Helophilus hoverflies! I think the choice here is between H. pendulus and H. hybridus. In my part of the world H. hybridus is much less frequently seen than pendulus, and in theory the males of the two species have different markings on the abdomen (male pendulus has a black band at the rear of segment two while male hybridus has much less black). However, for the females this distinction doesn't work, and you have to rely on how much black there is on the hind tibia (and there is also a difference in the amount of yellow dusting on top of the head, but you need a very clear photo to show that).

A couple of your specimens do seem to have a lot of black on the hind tibia, suggesting that they could be female hybridus, but it is hard to be certain of this, as the amount of black on the legs can seem to vary according to the way the light falls.

So I'm not sure what these are - perhaps there is a mix of both species, perhaps hybridus is more frequent where you are and you have a flower full of female hybridus, or perhaps it's a trick of the light and they are all pendulus males and/or females!

They're definitely species of Helophilus!

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Entomologist and biological recorder