yorkie's picture

Hoverfly - Parhelophilus?

Observed: 25th April 2011 By: yorkieyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebratesyorkie’s reputation in Invertebrates
Parhelophilus 2 IMG_7782

On waterside vegetation in woodland. This is a new species for me so I'm not really certain, but I wondered if it maybe P. versicolor, with black not yellow hairs at the end of tergite 5 and the black posterior margin of tergite 2 stopping well short of the margin.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


anonymous spotter's picture

Not sure how -

to distinguish between the different species - but certainly looks like Parhelophilus.

yorkie's picture

Ophrys Thanks for the id


Thanks for the id comments - having re-read the text caution seems the correct option! It looks as though I'll need to catch one to look for the tuft of hairs on the hind femur with a hand lens before I can be sure! I have problems being confident of the gender of Parhelophilus and Helophilus species as the eyes of the males don't meet in these genera - do you think that this is a male?



ophrys's picture


Definitely a male, as the edges of the eyes are parallel alongside the ocelli and top of the frons, then diverge lower on the frons, above the antennae. Females start the divergence straight away, at the very top.

Great sighting...I hardly ever find these.

How are you doing for hovers, so far this year? I know that it is still early, but I am not finding many at all...certainly compared to the last two years at this time.

Only exception to that is Parasyrphus punctulatus, which I have had in huge numbers at a few sites.


My Flickr photos...


yorkie's picture

Hovers so far this year


I've not seen hovers in any decent numbers so far this spring, though I've missed a lot of field opportunities this year as a consequence of 2 close-family bereavements up in Yorkshire which have kept us travelling the motorway network of England rather than enjoying the fruits of the Forest of Dean. The forest here is bone dry - we haven't had any rain for weeks, but I've seen some hovers beside a stream in my home town of Lydney.

From memory, I've had small no's of Eristalis tenax, E. pertinax, E. arbustorum, Epistrophe eligans, Leucozona leucorum, Cheilosia albitarsis, C. variabilis, Rhingia campestris and Melanostoma scalare. I've had only singles of Rhingia rostrata, Helophilus pendulus, Episyrphus balteatus and this Parhelophilus, but I have seen several Xylota segnis and several Parasyrphus punctulatus. I've also seen a single Syrphus torvus/vitripennis and lots of unidentified Platycheirus and Cheilosia.

I hope it rains soon!