Marmalade Hoverfly

Marmalade Hoverfly on Cow Parsley.
Marmalade Hoverfly on Cow Parsley.

The Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

This is probably the most common hoverfly in the United Kingdom and will be seen on the wing throughout the year should the weather prove mild.

It is relatively easy to identify as it possesses a narrow body with abdomens barred with black and orange/yellow.  It has secondary even more narrow black bands on the 3rd and 4th dorsal plates of the abdomen.  These do not go right to the outer edge of the abdomen as do the main bands.

The adult form likes to rest and feed on the nectar of flat-topped flowers.

The marmalade hoverfly’s larvae are important for the biological control of commercial plants as they consume vast quantities of aphids at night.