Saturday, 17 September 2016

Late summer hoverflies at Leighton Moss

Following a failed attempt to see a pectoral sandpiper at Heversham and then lunch in the Eric Morecombe hide, I spent most of the rest of the day with Ray watching and photographing hoverflies on the ivy covered wall at the start of the public causeway. I'm not sure how long we spent there, but we didn't get past the farm house at the start of the causeway all afternoon!

There were hundreds of hoverflies buzzing around the ivy, as well as lots of wasps and honey bees, plenty of interesting flies and several red admirals. In total we managed to identify 21 species of hoverfly. Here is a small selection (approximate numbers seen of each in brackets).

Ivy in flower, a magnate for invertebrates at this time of year, partly due to the shortage of other flowers.

One of my favourite hoverflies, Eristalis intricaria, a bee mimic (5).

Syrphus torvus, identified by its hairy eyes! (1).

Another favourite of mine, Sericomyia silentis. (5).

Dasysyrphus tricinctus (1).

Eupeodes luniger (2).

Eupeodes luniger.

Eupeodes luniger. Note the diagnostic "Y" on the frons.

Eupeodes luniger.

Helophilus pendullus (many).

Helophilus hybridus (5).

Helophilus trivittatus (5).

Helophilus trivittatus. Note the white face.

Syrphus ribesii (many).

Eristalis tenax, complete with swollen hind tibia. This was probably the most common species we saw today, literally hundreds of this species.

Melanostoma mellinum (many). Short abdomen, small white area of dusting on face. This was the only one we identified for sure but there were probably others.

Eristalis pertinax. Another very common species, again counted in the hundreds today.

Melanostoma scalare. Long abdomen and (if you could see  it) a large area of white dusting on its face. Lots seen today.

Myathropa florea, with a batman logo on its thorax (5).

Other hoverflies included Episyrphus balteatus (marmalade hoverfly), Syritta pipiens, Xylota segnis, Dasysyrphus ablostriatus, Eristalis arbustorum, Platycheirus albimanus and Epistrophe grossulariae.

Red Admiral.

Phasia hemiptera, a tachinid fly.

Mesembrina meridiana, also known as Noon fly.

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