Lesser Hornet Hoverfly

Our first day of the July monitoring at the Whitemoor Marshalling Yard - and the first Lesser Hornet Hoverfly Volucella inanis of the year. 

Steve Falk's description of this species is below:

"A large hoverfly, though somewhat smaller than the similiar V. zonaria and with yellow rather than chestnut markings on tergite 2 and more extensive yellow on the underside of the abdomen. It looks more wasp-like than hornet-like.

This is essentially a southern species, though it is currently expanding north and has become fairly frequent in the Midlands in recent years.

The larvae develop as scavengers and larval predators in the nests of social wasps, perhaps especially the German Wasp Vespula germanica and to a lesser extent Common Wasp V. vulgaris. Consequently, the fly is frequently seen in suburban locations such as gardens and waste ground where such wasps have good populations, though it also turns up in a variety of habitats away from settlements.

Adults like bramble, thistle and umbellifer flowers in summer, but can also be found visiting Ivy, Snowberry and Devil's-bit Scabious into autumn."

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