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Dear Elizabeth, we think we might have identified your hoverfly - a female. The loop on the wing would mean Eristalini tribe. Colour of the scutellum, other vein patterns seem to indicate an Eristalis. The total lack of a face stripe and black front tarsus seems to indicate Eristalis (Eoseristalis) arbustorum. A common hoverfly with very variable markings. Might be a bit early?
Thanks for your comments, do you know if this is the only Eristalis species that has a white face
There are other Eristalis without a black stripe on the face. They are all 'keyed', fully described, and depicted in colour in the excellent book 'British Hoverflies' by Stubbs and Falk.
I am not sure where you get this information. S&F are very clear in their key - E. arbustorum comes out at couplet 4 as the only one in the genus that lacks a black facial stripe, and that is emphasised in the account on p289.
I can't come to any other conclusion than E. arbustorum.
My mistake - thanks for the correction. I ought to have taken more care, especially as I'm new to observing hovers. I'll try harder next time!
Thanks for the comments, glad to see that this hoverfly is the only one without a stripe on the face, makes it a lot easier for ID.
Lat/Lng: 52.1, -3.4
OS grid ref: SO0451