hoverflies 2

 

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Hoverflies, Syrphidae     

Hoverflies, Flower Flies (Syrphidae) One of their characteristics is their bee, wasp or bumblebee mimicry, whereas they are completely defenceless. Flower flies cannot sting. They have same the bright colours, and sometimes the dense hair covering of bumblebees. 
Hovering is a speciality, but they are also fast and very manoeuvrable.
The difference with other flies is the spurious vein. This vein neither ends nor connects with other wing veins. The spurious vein just ends for the edge of the wings.  
Cell 2 is closed. The closed cell 4 is longer or as long as one third of the length of the wing.

The arista is on the side of the third antennal segment. Not on the top.
On the thorax are no stiff hairs like other flies.

   

Wing of a Meliscaeva auricollis.           ..    Antenna of a volucella zonaria.
Wing of a Meliscaeva auricollis.                                                                          Antenna of a volucella zonaria.

 Wing:
   1, 2, 3, 4: closed cell
   a: vena spuria or a false vein
   b: stigma 
   c: cross vein
   d: outer cross vein
Antenna:  
   1: third antennal segment (you can't see the other two on this photo)
   2: arista


Females have smaller eyes which are placed farther apart. The eyes of the male meet at the top of the head. Of course there are exceptions. Than you have to look at the underside of the abdomen, males have curbed asymetricla genitalia. The abdomen of the female is more pointed with inconspicuous genitalia.
Many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen. The larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods.


Exceptions 
No vena spuria: Eristalinus sepulchralis and Psilota anthracina.
Arista op the top: Callicera and Ceriana
Stiff hairs: Ferdinandea. Less: Volucella, Cheilosia, Brachyopa and Chamaesyrphus.

(Information from: Zweefvliegtabel van Aat Barendregt)


Other hoverflies on hoverflies 1

Wasp mimics

Episyrphus. 

Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). Genus: Episyrphus... Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). Genus: Episyrphus.. . Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus).  Genus: Episyrphus.. Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). Genus: Episyrphus.  Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). Genus: Episyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
This is a very common hoverfly in our garden and throughout Europe. In the autumn they fly in large numbers to south Europe.  
The abdomen has orange and black bands. The 2 small bands on every segment are characteristic. Still it is a variable fly. In autumn there are also dark flies.
The larvae
feed on aphids. There the eggs are also laid.
 
Length: 8 tot 12 millimeter. March.- November.

Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) Without the two small bands. German: Hain-Schwebfliege  French: Syrphe ceinturé.  

A pupa of a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) Photo 11-6-2014. A pupa of a      
Hoverfly larva  Hoverfly larva. Photo 7-3- 2009. This is a larva of a hoverfly. That day I found two between the leaves.
There's still much to discover concerning the larvae of hoverflies. Just maybe it's a larva of a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus). But that is certainly not certain.  The larva feeds on aphids.
   

Sericomyia

Sericomyia silentis Genus: Sericomyia male.. Sericomyia silentis Genus: Sericomyia male. Sericomyia silentis Genus: Sericomyia female. Sericomyia silentis Genus: Sericomyia female Sericomyia silentis. Genus: Sericomyia. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A large black fly with yellow, narrowly wedge-shaped abdominal bars, which usually do not quite meet in the centre of the abdomen. The end of the abdomen is yellow.  The edge of the wings is rose brown. It looks like a  large social wasp (Vespa species).
It is a species primarily of peatland areas. But also in other areas as in my garden.

The rat-tailed maggots live like the maggots of for example the Eristalis species in the water.
Length: 14-18 mm.  Mai - October.
German: Große Torf-Schwebfliege, Gelbband-Torfschwebfliege.     

Helophilus.
The larvae, rat-tailed maggots, live in muddy water.  Often in decaying plants.

Sun fly, Helophilus pendulus Genus: Helophilus.. Sun fly, Helophilus pendulus Genus: Helophilus. Sun fly, Helophilus pendulus Genus: Helophilus. Sun fly, Helophilus pendulus Genus: Helophilus  Sun fly, Helophilus pendulus. One of the most common hoverflies in my garden. It is especially to be found near water and marshes. It has black and yellow longitudinal stripes on the upper surface of its thorax.  
Length: 11 -13 mm.  April - October.
There are more Helophilus species similar to these flies. For example the Helophilus  hybridus and H. trivittatus.
This species is such an exception. You can’t recognize it is male or female by examine the eyes.

The Helophilus pendulus has a black middle stripe on the face. On the first two abdominal segments are yellow spots.
The hind leg: the thigh is 1/3 yellow on the top and the tibia 2/3 yellow with a black top. A black tarsus of the foreleg.
Like al Helophilus species it favour ponds and muddy water.
German: Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Frech: Hélophile suspendu.   

Sun fly, Helophilus trivittatus Genus: Helophilus.. Sun fly, Helophilus trivittatus Genus: Helophilus. Sun fly, Helophilus trivittatus Genus: Helophilus. Sun fly, Helophilus trivittatus Genus: Helophilus Sun fly, Helophilus trivittatus. Genus: Helophilus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A wasp- like hoverfly. It has black and yellow longitudinal stripes on the upper surface of its thorax. It is similar to the Sunfly, Helophilus pendulus. On the first two abdominal segments are lemon yellow spots. The spots below are more white.
Helophilus trivittatus has a yellow middle stripe on the face.
German: Große Sumpfschwebfliege.       
Sun fly, Helophilus hybridus.. Sun fly, Helophilus hybridus. Sun fly, Helophilus hybridus. Sun fly, Helophilus hybridus  Sun fly, Helophilus hybridus. Genus: Helophilus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
On the first two abdominal segments are yellow spots. Photo 18-8-2010.    

Parhelophilus. 

Parhelophilus versicolor or Parhelophilus frutetorum. Genus Parhelophilus. .. Parhelophilus versicolor or Parhelophilus frutetorum. Genus Parhelophilus. . Parhelophilus versicolor or Parhelophilus frutetorum. Genus Parhelophilus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house. I've seen this hoverfly once in our garden, but I didn't succeed to take a photo.
Both species look very much alike. The drawing is similar to that of the shuttle flight. Only more orange brown and hairy. The antennae are orange. The face is orange yellow.
The larvae live underwater in the mud. They overwinter as larvae and pupate above water on the marsh plants.

Parhelophilus versicolor : On the head behind the eyes are between the yellow hairs some black hairs.
Length: 9-11 mm. May - september.
Parhelophilus frutetorum: On the head behind the eyes are only yellow hairs.
Length: 8 - 10 mm. May - August. The Parhelophilus frutetorum is less common in the Netherlands. Photos 5-7-2013. 
    

Anasimyia.

Anasimyia interpuncta. Genus: Anasimyia... Anasimyia interpuncta. Genus: Anasimyia.. Anasimyia interpuncta. Genus: Anasimyia. Anasimyia interpuncta. Genus: Anasimyia. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
It looks a little like the Helophilus, but the Anasimyia is not as bright-colored and smaller.
The spots on the body are curved. The Anasimyia has no middle stripe on the face. Length: 8 - 11 mm.
April - September. The larvae overwinter. Palearctic.
Photos 25-9-2012.    

Chrysotoxum.

Chrysotoxum festivum. Genus: Chrysotoxum... Chrysotoxum festivum. Genus: Chrysotoxum.. Chrysotoxum festivum. Genus: Chrysotoxum.  Chrysotoxum festivum. Genus: Chrysotoxum. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
This hoverfly has a long antennae, so the fly can easily be mistaken with a wasp. 
Chrysotoxum festivum is very similar to Chrysotoxum vernale. The thighs of the Chrysotoxum festivum are yellow. The base of the thighs of the Chrysotoxum vernale is black.  
Palearctic. April - September. Length 11 - 15 mm. 
Photos 11-6-2012.    

Temnostoma.

Temnostoma bombylans. Genus: Temnostoma.  Temnostoma bombylans. Genus: Temnostoma. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A black abdomen with thin yellow bands. It looks like the Chrysotoxum festivum, but has much smaller light antennae. Upper part of the legs is dark, the lower part is light brown.
The larvae are found in old stumps and trunks, which are often saturated with water.
Palearctic. April - June. Length 12 - 16 mm. Photo 31-5-2014.
    

Xanthogramma.  

Xanthogramma pedissequum.  Genus Xanthogramma... Xanthogramma pedissequum.  Genus Xanthogramma.. Xanthogramma pedissequum.  Genus Xanthogramma.. Xanthogramma pedissequum.  Genus Xanthogramma.  Xanthogramma pedissequum.  Genus Xanthogramma. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A black glider with lemon yellow spots and legs. The sides of the thorax has a yellow stripe. The hind legs are darker. Length 10 - 12 mm.
May-September. The larva lives in the nests of some species of ants. The ants don't attack the larva. They feed on root aphids.
Palearctic.
Photos 8-9-2012, 17-6-2013, 14-6-2014, 20-6-2014.    

Syrphus.

Common banded hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii).  Genus: Syrphus... Common banded hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii).  Genus: Syrphus.. Common banded hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii).  Genus: Syrphus.. Common banded hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii).  Genus: Syrphus.   Common banded hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii).  Genus: Syrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).  
The female S. ribesii is the only female of the syrphus species with entirely yellow thighs. The male is not so easy to determine for the thighs of the hind leg are partially dark, like other species. 
At the top of the thigh of hind leg on the outer side are very small black hairs.

There are of course a number of species, which are similar . Especially  the Syrphus torvus and the Syrphus vitripennis. 
Length: 9 - 13 mm. The larvae of the three species feed on aphids.  
April - November. Photos 5-5-2010, 22-5-2013. German: Große Schwebfliege, Gemeine Garten-Schwebfliege 

 larve Syrphus ribesii rode kleurvorm   larve Syrphus ribesii rode kleurvorm Larva Syrphus ribesii according to Gerard Penards. 20-8-2011.
    
Syrphus torvus. female Genus: Syrphus... Syrphus torvus. female Genus: Syrphus.. Syrphus torvus. female Genus: Syrphus.. Bosbandzwever, bosbandzweefvliSyrphus torvus. male Genus: Syrphus.eg (Syrphus torvus). man Genus: Syrphus.  Syrphus torvus. Genus: Syrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
On the photo of this female you can just see the hairs on the eyes. 
At the top of the thigh of hind leg on the outer side are very small black hairs.
The bands of Syrphus torvus are sometimes smaller. The thighs of the hind leg are partially dark.
Length: 10 tot 13 mm. March - October. 
Photos 19-9-2009, 22-3-2012, 11-4-2012. 

Syrphus torvus. male Genus: Syrphus. Syrphus torvus. male. The hairs on the eyes are visible. Photo 21-4-2012.    

Syrphus vitripennis. Female. Genus: Syrphus... Syrphus vitripennis. Female. Genus: Syrphus.  Syrphus vitripennis. Female. Genus: Syrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The eyes are hairless. The thighs of the hind leg are partially dark.
At the top of the thigh of hind leg on the outer side are very small yellow hairs. Sometimes there are also some black hairs. But to see these hairs, you need a microscope or a very good camera. I tried to photograph it. Usually it failed because they were sitting on a yellow flower.
Length: 8 tot 12 mm.  March - November. Photos 3-10-2013.

Syrphus vitripennis. Female. Genus: Syrphus. Syrphus vitripennis. Female. Genus: Syrphus. Detail hind thigh and eyes.
   
Male Syrphus ribesii, Syrphus torvus or Syrphus vitripennis  Male Syrphus ribesii, Syrphus torvus or Syrphus vitripennis.    

The hoverflies of the genus Syrphus look like some of the hoverflies of the genus Epistrophe on the page hoverflies 1.

Parasyrphus.

Parasyrphus punctulatus Genus: Parasyrphus  female.. Parasyrphus punctulatus Genus: Parasyrphus female. Parasyrphus punctulatus Genus: Parasyrphus male. Parasyrphus punctulatus Genus: Parasyrphus male  Parasyrphus punctulatus. Genus: Parasyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The semicircular spots on its abdomen, which reach the outside edge of the abdomen. The thorax is dull. On the face is a black stripe.
Length 6-9 mm.
April-June. Palearctic. The larvae feed on aphids.
    

Eupeodes.  

Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes... Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes.. Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes.. Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes.  Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
This hoverfly has three pairs of yellow commas on its abdomen, which don't reach the outside edge of the abdomen. The female has an inverted y on the forehead. See picture below. Males are more difficult to identify. They closely resemble the Eupeodes latifasciatus, but are blacker. The eyes are not hairy.
Length: 9 - 12 mm.
March - November. The larvae feed on aphids.
Europe, North America, Western Asia and Nth Africa. Photos 12-4-2008, 22-3-2012, 12-4-2012.

Eupeodes luniger. Genus: Eupeodes. Female with an inverted y on the forehead.German: Mondfleck-Feldschwebfliege.   

Eupeodes latifasciatus Genus: Eupeodes.. Eupeodes latifasciatus. Genus: Eupeodes. Eupeodes latifasciatus. Genus: Eupeodes. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Wide bands (commas), rarely narrow. In the male, the spots are often broadly connected as in the small picture. The back of the E. latifasciatus is more glossy green. A shiny forehead. 
Eupeodes corollae
looks also similar. The eyes are not hairy.
Length: 8 - 10 mm.
April - October. Photos 31-7-2008, 18-9-2015.
German: Breitband-Feldschwebfliege.     
Eupeodes corrollae. Genus Eupeodes. .. Eupeodes corrollae. Genus Eupeodes. . Eupeodes corrollae. Genus Eupeodes. . Eupeodes corrollae. Genus Eupeodes.   Eupeodes corrollae. Genus Eupeodes. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
This hoverfly has three pairs of yellow commas on its abdomen, which reach the outside edge of the abdomen.
The head of the female is above black. The rest is yellow. The eyes are not hairy.
Length: 7 - 11 mm. April - November.
The larvae feed on aphids. Photos 18-04-2009, 11-6-2012, 12-7-2012.
German: Gemeine Feldschwebfliege.

                              .Genus: Eupeodes The spots on the abdomen of this male reach each other. Photo 16-08-2010.

Eupeodes lapponicus. Female.  Genus: Eupeodes... Eupeodes lapponicus.  Male. Genus: Eupeodes.. Wing of Eupeodes lapponicus.  Male. Genus: Eupeodes.  Eupeodes lapponicusGenus: Eupeodes. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Abdomen with (oftten narrow) curved spots. Vein 3 in the wing with a deep bend. (difference with the other Eupeodes species). Through the vein it is also placed in Scaeva. The spots also resemble those of the Scaeva selenitica. Other people had placed it in the the genus Lapposyrphus.  Eyes not hairy. 
The females overwinter. Therefore, they may be more numerous after a mild winter. In our country there aren't found overwintering females yet. Many flies in the Netherlands are here through migration.
Length: 9 - 12 mm. April - August.
The larvae feed on aphids. Holarctic. Photos 6-05-2014, 19-6-2014.
   

Scaeva.

Scaeva pyrastri Genus: Scaeva.. Scaeva pyrastri. Scaeva pyrastri. Scaeva pyrastri Scaeva pyrastri. Genus: Scaeva. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Small photos 29-7-2008: I tried to photograph it without success. But when my wife had a bought a hebe for in a pot, it waited in the air, until she was ready. Then it stayed for a long time on the flowers.
It looks a bit like an Eupeodes.
Black with three pairs of white, sometimes slightly yellow tilted spots. 
The Scaeva selenitica has right spots.
Length: 10 - 15 mm. April - October. The pale green  larvae  feed on aphids.
Holarctic and Oriental.    
Scaeva selenitica. Genus: Scaeva... Scaeva selenitica. Genus: Scaeva.. Scaeva selenitica. Genus: Scaeva.  Scaeva selenitica. Genus: Scaeva. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The difference with the white Scaeva pyrastri are the yellowish spots (sometimes whitish) and the spots are right on the abdomen.
It also looks like an Eupeodes, but a Scaeva has hairy eyes.
In side view the forehead is swollen.
Length: 10 - 15 mm. February - November.

The pale green  larvae  feed on aphids. Palearctic. Photos 7-6-2009, 4-6-2012.   
Zuidelijke Gele Halvemaanzweefvlieg (Scaeva dignota). Genus: Scaeva. Hoogstwaarschijnlijk, niet helemaal zeker!! Heel zeldzaam!!.. Zuidelijke Gele Halvemaanzweefvlieg (Scaeva dignota). Genus: Scaeva.  Hoogstwaarschijnlijk, niet helemaal zeker!! Heel zeldzaam!!. Zuidelijke Gele Halvemaanzweefvlieg (Scaeva dignota). Genus: Scaeva.  Hoogstwaarschijnlijk, niet helemaal zeker!! Heel zeldzaam!!  Scaeva dignota. Genus: Scaeva. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Probably, not certain!!1 Very rare!!! 
I thought it was a Scaeva selenitica. Menno Reemer pointed out to me, that probably it is a Scaeva dignota. In the Netherlands it is very rare. Thanks Menno!
The difference with the Scaeva selenitica is, that the spots reach the outside edge of the abdomen. The spots are often slightly paler and wider. The forehead is less swollen.
It is found occasionally in the southern Netherlands (And once a larva in Amsterdam). It's possible, that the larva of this hoverfly has traveled with a plant form another part of Europe, but according to Menno Reemer they can fly long distances in summer.
Length: 10 - 15 mm. April - August.
The larvae reed on aphids. Palearctic.  Photos 13-6-2012.   

Dasysyrphus

Geelbandwimperzwever (Dasysyrphus tricinctus) Genus: Dasysyrphus.. Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus.. Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus.. Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus.  Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The first band /spots is / are broader than the second. It lives in forests and along forest edges.
Length: 8 - 10 mm. April - October. The  larvae  feed on aphids.
Photos 1-9-2008, 9-8-2009, 12-9-2010. German: Breitband-Waldschwebfliege.

Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Dasysyrphus tricinctus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Sometimes the Dasysyrphus tricinctus has two yellow clearly visible spots below the scutellum.     

Dasysyrphus venustus Genus: Dasysyrphus.. Dasysyrphus venustus Genus: Dasysyrphus. Dasysyrphus venustus Genus: Dasysyrphus  Dasysyrphus venustus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The face has a broad middle stripe. The Abdominal spots  may look like those of the Scaeva selenitica. Light antennas. Hairy eyes. (Hard to see on the photos) The wings have a long dark pterostigma.
They are be found in forests, but also in parks and (as here) in gardens
Length: 8 to 10 mm. March - August. 

Larva Dasysyrphus venustus   Larva Dasysyrphus venustus  The larva of a Dasysyrphus venustus. 31-05-2008.

Dasysyrphus albostriatus Genus: Dasysyrphus.. Dasysyrphus albostriatus. Dasysyrphus albostriatus. Dasysyrphus albostriatus  Dasysyrphus albostriatus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A dark yellow hoverfly with yellow spots. Further distinguished by the two white stripes on  its thorax
Forests and forest edges.

Length: 8 - 10 mm. April - October. Two generations.  The  larvae  feed on aphids. Palearctisch (Europe, North Africa to Japan).

Dasysyrphus albostriatus. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Male Male. Photos 6-9-2009, 4-8-2010, 22-5-2013.

Dasysyrphus pinastri. Genus: Dasysyrphus. .. Dasysyrphus pinastri. Genus: Dasysyrphus. . Dasysyrphus pinastri. Genus: Dasysyrphus.   Dasysyrphus pinastri. Genus: Dasysyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.
The spots with a thickened end are similar to those of a Scaeva. The spots don't reach the outside edge of the abdomen. On the dark brown scutellum are black hairs. Especially near coniferous forest.
Length: 9 - 11 mm. April - July. The  larvae  feed on aphids. Holarctic.    

Platycheirus.
This group hoverflies can be recognised by the forefoot. The tarsus of the front legs of this species has widened.

Platycheirus scutatus complex. Genus: Platycheirus. male.. Platycheirus scutatus complex. Genus: Platycheirus. female. Platycheirus scutatus complex. Genus: Platycheirus. female Platycheirus scutatus complex. Genus: Platycheirus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Complex: Some species of the same family. P. scutatus, P. splendidus, P. aurolateralis,.....
I can't say which specie. Photo male 4-6-2011, photos female 6-9-2012.
    
Platycheirus albimanus or Platycheirus cyaneus  Genus: Platycheirus.. Platycheirus albimanus or Platycheirus cyaneus  Genus: Platycheirus. Platycheirus albimanus or Platycheirus cyaneus  Genus: Platycheirus. Platycheirus albimanus or Platycheirus cyaneus  Genus: Platycheirus Platycheirus albimanus or Platycheirus cyaneus. Genus: Platycheirus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
They can be found in woodland edge, hedgerows, scrub and gardens. On the abdomen silvery (mica color) or yellowish spots. 
The larvae appear to feed on aphids on low growing plants and bushes. Length: 7 - 9 mm. March - October
.    
Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Male... Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Male.. Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Male.. Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Male.  In this picture you can see the curved hair. The end is white in the sunlight.
Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Male. 
A very rare species in the Netherlands!!

The spots on the abdomen have the colour of mica. Males have an enlarged front tibia and tars. At the top of tibia one (the thigh) is a curly hair. (Not shown in these pictures.)
The larvae appear to feed on aphids . Length: 7 - 9 mm. March - June
. Photo 17-4-2011.                  

Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Female.  Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Female.  Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Female.  Platycheirus ambiguus. Genus: Platycheirus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Female. A very rare species in the Netherlands!!
Two years later I photographed the female. Like the male it looks like the Platycheirus albimanus. The female has broad blue shiny spots, but they are almost invisible on the black abdomen.
Photos 28-4-2013.   Thanks Menno.
   
Platycheirus europaeus. Genus: Platycheirus. .. Platycheirus europaeus. Genus: Platycheirus.   Platycheirus europaeus. Genus: Platycheirus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.
On the first segment of tarsus 1 on the foreleg of the male is a black pattern in the shape of a Z. Orange spots on the abdomen. It looks a lot like Platycheirus clypeatus and Platycheirus occultus. Especially the female is smaller and the spots are slightly smaller.
Determined by Jaap van der Linden. Thanks Jaap.
Grasslands near forests, forest edges, forest lakes. The adult platycheirus is visiting flowering grasses, plantain and greater stitchwort.
The larvae feed on aphids. Length: 7 - 9 mm. May - Augustus
. Photos 15-7-2013.    

Pelecocera.

Pelecocera tricincta. Genus: Pelecocera... Pelecocera tricincta. Genus: Pelecocera.. Pelecocera tricincta. Genus: Pelecocera.  Pelecocera tricincta. Genus: Pelecocera. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house.
On a buttercup. Striking are the ax-shaped antennas with a thick arista.
It is found on sandy soils, heath, nutrient-poor grassland, woodland edges, like here in the dunes.
There is not much known about the larvae. Length: 4 - 5 mm. June - September. Photos 18-6-2013.
   

Chamaesyrphus. 
Sometimes Chamaesyrphus is described as a synonym of Pelecocera. There are indeed many similarities.

Chamaesyrphus lusitanicus. Genus: Chamaesyrphus. .. Chamaesyrphus lusitanicus. Genus: Chamaesyrphus.   Chamaesyrphus lusitanicus. Genus: Chamaesyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 4 km from our house. A very rare species in the Netherlands!!
There are two species, which are much rarer. In the Netherlands there haven't been sightings for years. Namely Chamaesyrphus caldonicus and Chamaesyrphus scaevoides.
A small, slender fly with an ax shaped third antennal segment, (like the Pelecocera tricincta). On the abdomen are reddish brown spots, the forehead just above the antennas is white powered. In the male there is also distance between the eyes. Most sightings are in the Veluwe and the dunes of Schoorl (not far from me). Especially along edges of pine forests and heather.
There is not much known about the larvae.
Length: 5 - 6 mm. April - October. Two generations. Europe. Photos 7-10-2013.
   

Melanstoma.

Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma... Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma.. Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma.. Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma.  Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A slender abdomen. Especially the abdomen of the male. It is a common hoverfly in the garden.
The larvae feed on aphids. You recognize it because of the small yellow spots on the abdomen. Although the Melanostoma mellinum is almost similar. This hoverfly has a somewhat shorter abdomen with less elongated spots. The arista of the M. scalare has short hairs.
Length: 7 - 9 mm. April - November. The larva overwinters.
The larva probably feeds on aphids and other small invertebrates. Photos 7-4-'12, 11-4-'12, 27-8-'12, 11-10-'12.

Melanostoma scalare. Genus: Melanostoma.  On this photo of the male you can see, that the face isn't shiny like the Melanostoma mellinum. The part of the face is covered in a greyish powder.

Gewone driehoekszweefvlieg (Melanostoma mellinum). Genus: Melanstoma... Melanostoma mellinum. Genus: Melanostoma. Melanostoma mellinum. Genus: Melanostoma. Melanostoma mellinum. Genus: Melanostoma. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Another difference is that the face is shiny, while  a part of the face of a m. scalare is covered in a greyish powder. Only along the eye you see a little grey. The arista is almost bald.
The melanostoma mellinum is in our garden much less common than the m. scalare. 
This hoverfly I saw the end of November. It was very bad weather. Perhaps therefore the thorax is damaged. (dented)
Length 5 - 8 mm. April - November.
Photo 30-9-2012, 3-10-2013.    

Xanthandrus.

Xanthandrus comtus Genus: Xanthandrus.. Xanthandrus comtus Genus: Xanthandrus. Xanthandrus comtus Genus: Xanthandrus. Xanthandrus comtus. Genus: Xanthandrus. Xanthandrus comtus. Genus: Xanthandrus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
It's a dark hoverfly. It has a flat abdomen with orange spots. In the male, the spots on abdominal segment 3 and 4 are connected. In the female they are separated and the spots on abdominal segment 2 are missing .  They can be found in woodland edge.
The larvae appear to feed on on gregarious caterpillars of yponomeutid and tortricid micro-moths
. Length: 10 - 12 mm. May - November.     

Melangyna, Meligramma and Meliscaeva.
Melangyna  hoverflies with a slim body. They are quite small.  They look like the hoverflies of the genus Meligramma and Meliscaeva. The larvae of both genera feed on aphids.

Melangyna cincta  male.. Melangyna cincta female. Melangyna cincta . Melangyna cincta male Melangyna cincta. Genus Melangyna. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Features: On the second segment of the abdomen, the triangular spots have the point to the inside. It has a yellow shield with yellow hairs and yellow antennae.
Length: 8 - 10 mm. March - September.    
Melangyna lasiophthalma. Genus Melangyna... Melangyna lasiophthalma. Genus Melangyna.. Wilgenelfje (Melangyna lasiophthalma). Genus Melangyna.  Melangyna lasiophthalma. Genus Melangyna. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Features: On the abdomen are small white-yellow to orange spots. A dark shiny thorax.
This hoverfly visits the flowers of early flowering shrubs such as willow and blackthorn.
Length 8 to 10 mm. March to June.
Large parts of Europe, North America. Photo 20-03-2011. The first new (for me) hoverfly, which I saw in the garden this year. Sitting in the sun on the sill of the window Last Photo: 15-03-2012.
   
Melangyna umbellatarum. Genus Melangyna... Melangyna umbellatarum. Genus Melangyna..   Melangyna umbellatarum. Genus Melangyna. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Features: On the abdomen of the male are whitish (female) ore white yellowish (male) spots. The thorax is shiny and slightly hairy. The eyes are hairless.
Length 9 - 12 mm. May - September. Two generations. Holarctic. Photos 28-7-2012.

Melangyna umbellatarum. Female. Genus Melangyna. Melangyna umbellatarum. Female. Genus Melangyna. Female. Photos 17-9-2013.

Meligramma triangulifera. Genus Meligramma... Meligramma triangulifera. Genus Meligramma.  Meligramma triangulifera. Genus Meligramma. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
The spots on the abdomen are triangular. It can be confused with the Meliscaeva auricollis, but the spots of the Meligramma triangulifera  reach the outside edge of the abdomen. On thhe yellow scutellum are yellow hairs. The tarsi of the frontlegs are yellow. The thorax is very shiny.
 
Length 8 - 10 mm. March - September. Probably two generations. The larvae overwinter. Photos 14-7-2013.   
Meliscaeva auricollis. Genus Meliscaeva... Meliscaeva auricollis. Genus Meliscaeva.. Meliscaeva auricollis. Genus Meliscaeva.  Meliscaeva auricollis. Genus Meliscaeva. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Features: The spots on the second segment of the abdomen don't reach the outside edge of the abdomen. The underside of the spots is oblique. The yellow scutellum has black hairs. 
Length: 8 - 11 mm. March - November. The female hibernates. Foto's 6-1-2008, 12-3-2012.

Variabel Elfje (Meliscaeva auricollis)  Variabel Elfje (Meliscaeva auricollis)  Photos 27-3-2011. The dark hairs on the scutellum are easier to see. The spots are less clear. 

Meliscaeva cinctella.. Meliscaeva cinctella. Meliscaeva cinctella  Meliscaeva cinctella. Genus Meliscaeva. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
Features: The square spots on the second segment of the abdomen reach the outside edge of the abdomen. The yellow scutellum has black hairs.
Length: 8 - 11 mm. April - September. They probably overwinter as larvae.
  

Sphaerophoria.
The male and female are different. The male has a more slender body, which looks like a stick. Most species are difficult or impossible to determine from a photo.

Sphaerophoria scripta. Female Sphaerophoria scripta.  Male.   
Sphaerophoria scripta.  Female. Sphaerophoria scripta.. Sphaerophoria scripta.. Sphaerophoria scripta. Male.   Sphaerophoria scripta.  Genus: Sphaerophoria.  Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). (The female perhaps another species)
Unlike other species, the body of the male is longer than the wings. The bands are yellow or yellow-orange. The scutellum is yellow. Females are not to identify. You are only sure, when a female and a male are together. 
Male 10 mm long, female 8 mm. April - October. The larvae feed on aphids.
German: Gemeine Stiftschwebfliege  French: Sphaerophore notée.
Sphaerophoria batava complex Female. Sphaerophoria batava complex  Male.                 
Sphaerophoria batava complex Female. Sphaerophoria batava complexSphaerophoria batava complex Male.  Sphaerophoria batava complex (Maybe). Genus: Sphaerophoria.    

Brachypalpoides, Chalcosyrphus, Xylota.

Brachypalpoides lentus. Genus: Brachypalpoides... Brachypalpoides lentus. Genus: Brachypalpoides.. Brachypalpoides lentus. Genus: Brachypalpoides.  Brachypalpoides lentus. Genus: Brachypalpoides. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A large fly. A conspicuous red spot on the back and black legs.
Length 11 - 14 mm. April - July. Deciduous forests and sandy. Larvae in rotting wood.
Photos 5-6-2012.    
Chalcosyrphus nemorum. Genus Chalcosyrphus... Chalcosyrphus nemorum. Genus Chalcosyrphus.. Chalcosyrphus nemorum. Genus Chalcosyrphus.  Chalcosyrphus nemorum. Genus Chalcosyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 3 km from my house.
A black hoverfly with a rather short abdomen. On the abdomen four yellow to orange rectangular spots.
Length 7 - 10 mm. April - September. Two generations.
Often in deciduous forests near water. The hoverfly also visits flowers. Larvae live under the bark of dead wood that is in a damp place.
Photos 12-7-2012.   
Chalcosyrphus piger. Genus Chalcosyrphus... Chalcosyrphus piger. Genus Chalcosyrphus.. Chalcosyrphus piger. Genus Chalcosyrphus.  Chalcosyrphus piger. Genus Chalcosyrphus. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). Not in the garden but in the dunes about 3 km from my house. Rare, but this hoverfly is frequently found in the dunes near Bergen.
The abdomen is red. Unfortunately this isn't visible in this photo. The legs are black, thorax and scutellum are dull black. The thighs of the hind legs are quite thick. 
The lives in damp pine forests with rich undergrowth. You see them both on leaves and flowers. The larvae live in rotten spots behind the bark of pine and spruce.
Length: 11 - 13 mm. April - September.  Holearctic.   Photos 26-7-2012, 23-8-2012. On the last photos left is the red abdomen much better visible.
 
Xylota segnis Genus: Xylota.. Xylota segnis Genus: Xylota. Xylota segnis Genus: XylotaXylota segnis Genus: Xylota  Xylota segnis. Genus: Xylota. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A  hoverfly which slightly resembles an Ichneumon wasp. Orange and black. 
It has a preference for feeding on honey-dew secreted by aphids. That's why it is often been seen on leaves. It visits less often flowers.
In hedgerows and woodland.
Length: 9 - 14 mm. April - October. Larvae are found in rotting sawdust, rotting wood etc.  
Xylota sylvarum. Genus Xylota... Xylota sylvarum. Genus Xylota.. Xylota sylvarum. Genus Xylota.. Xylota sylvarum. Genus Xylota.  Xylota sylvarum. Genus Xylota. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A large fly. The end of the black abdomen has golden hairs. The yellow shins have a black ring. This is different from the similar X. xanthocnema. Which has yellow shins. 
This xylota stayed one hour at about the same spot flying and jumping from leaf to leaf to. They do that often I have read.
Length 11 - 16 mm. May - September. Larvae in rotting wood. Palearctic.
Photos 10-7-2012, 3-7-2011.    

Syritta.

Thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) Genus: Syritta.. Thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) Genus: Syritta. Thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) Genus: Syritta. Thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens) Genus: Syritta Thick-legged hoverfly (Syritta pipiens). Genus: Syritta. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae). 
A small, slim hoverfly. During the float it can propel jerky.
The Thick-legged hoverfly is easily to recognize by the swollen hind femora. On the hind femur (the ventral edge) it has a row of spines. At the side of the thorax it has a white spot.
The Netherlands has only one species. So you can not be mistaken. In Europe there are three species.
The larva lives of waste on the soil or compost.
Length: 7 - 9 mm.
April - October.  Two generations (probably) Native to Eurasia and the Orient. Introduced in North America and Mexico.
    

 

Tropidia.

Tropidia scita.. Tropidia scita. Genus: Tropidia.. Tropidia scita. Tropidia scita  Tropidia scita. Genus: Tropidia. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
A dark back with silver spots on the corners. Large orange spots on the abdomen. Black, swollen hind femora arched with a triangular projection. (Visible on the photo below)
This is the only species in the Netherlands.
Moist to wet habitats. They fly low and also visit flowers. As you can see on these pictures. 
The larvae live in decaying plant debris on the edges of fens, pounds, etc. But they don't know much about it.
Length: 7 - 11 mm. April - September. Photos 4-6-2010, 15-5-2011.

Tropidia scita. Genus: Tropidia.  Black, swollen hind femora arched with a triangular projection. Photo 14-5-2013.        

Neoascia.

Neoascia podagrica. Genus: Neoascia.. Neoascia podagrica. Genus: Neoascia  Neoascia podagrica. Genus: Neoascia. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
There are similar species. But they are very rare in the Netherlands.
A small hoverfly. The abdomen of this species is waisted. (Especially the females) and club shaped. The Neoascia has like the Syritta thick backthigh. The Neoascia podagrica has dark cross veins.
Length: 5 - 6 mm. April - October. Photos 17-6-2011.
  

Baccha.

Baccha elongata Genus: Baccha.. Baccha elongata. Baccha elongata  Baccha elongata. Genus: Baccha. Family hoverflies (Syrphidae).
In the bushes flew this little thin hoverfly. There you'll find it often. They can be found in shady, damp places. 
It has a slender body like an ichneumon wasp. It is difficult to see, because it is so thin.
Length: 7 - 11 mm. April - November.
The larvae  feed on aphids.
Photos 25-9-2008, 26-4-2011. German: Gemeine Schattenschwebfliege.     


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hoverflies 1

 

I want to thank everyone, who has helped me (waarneming.nl) to identify. In particular Gerard Pennards, Han Endt and Menno Reemer. 

 

A beautiful site with much information:   The Garden Safari   Informatie about flies:  www.diptera.info
André Schulten has made a Dutch digital guide ​​about hoverflies  identification guide to hoverflies    


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