Narcissus Bulb Fly

An extremely hot and humid day with no breeze, which had me almost falling asleep at the computer. Fortunately I didn't have to do any fieldwork, so mostly stayed indoors, with brief forays to sit in shady spots in the garden. I didn't get my camera out until the evening, but by then there were very few insects around and most of the plants looked as overheated and wilted as I felt.

I managed to find one rather ancient and tattered Narcissus Bulb Fly feeding on the Ox-eye Daisies, and carefully stalked it for a few minutes. This is a fairly large bumblebee mimic that can be common in a variety of habitats in spring and early summer, especially suburban locations with plentiful bulbs. There are numerous colour forms. Males can be particularly noticeable as they defend a territory from a low perch which can include a flower bed or even a garden lawn. The larvae develop in bulbs, mostly those of daffodils, and can be quite serious pests. It is thought to have been introduced to Britain with bulbs from the continent in the Victorian period, when it was regarded as a great rarity.

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