By mollyblobs

Early Bear Hoverfly

No images yesterday - a cold that I've been fighting for nearly a week finally got the better of me. I'd assumed it wasn't Covid as I've tested negative three times on our few remaining lateral-flow tests. Today I took a PCR test, at the request of ZOE and popped it in the post, so we shall see.

On Monday Pete and I spent a couple of hours at Bedford Purlieus where there were very many of these Early Bear Hoverflies Criorhina ranunculi buzzing round the Blackthorn. I failed miserably to get any images, so Pete brought one home so that I could photograph it in the studio, 

This species is a magnificent bumblebee mimic that can have a white, orange or red tail. The hind femora are strongly swollen. It's predominantly a species of old woodland and can be found visiting the flowers of Blackthorn, Wild Cherry, Cherry-laurel, sallows and maples. Adult males hold territories on patches of blossoms and will attack other insects that get too close. The larvae develop in the wet rotting roots and low heart-rot of mature trees and females can sometimes be seen investigating the bases of such trees to oviposit.

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