Species: Large Tiger Hoverfly (Helophilus trivittatus)

Family: Hoverflies (SYRPHIDAE)

Category: Insects (Other)

Location: Widespread

A. Insects (Other)

More extensive information on insects can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Hoverflies (SYRPHIDAE)

True to their name, the hoverflies hover around flowers, and then alight to feed on nectar and pollen. They are very important pollinators, and despite the fact that some look like wasps or bees, this is just mimicry and helps to keep potential predators at bay. Hoverflies have no sting, and have short, drooping antennae. The larvae are as useful as the adults, in that they feed on aphids.

We have a photograph-filled blog post about all the hoverflies that we have seen in the Cemetery that may be worth your time.

C. Large Tiger Hoverfly (Helophilus trivittatus)

Most markedly, Helophilus trivittatus has black and yellow stripes on its thorax that run front-to-back, similar to one of the other hoverflies that has been spotted in the Cemetery, the Helophilus pendulus.

This hoverfly is larger and longer than other hoverflies, so usually stands out even to a casual observer. Its abdominal side patches are lemon yellow in appearance. The central stripe on its face is also lemon yellow. Its hind tibia is two-thirds dark, rather than the more typical one-third dark that ones sees with other hoverflies.

This is another of our important pollinators.

The common English name for the hoverfly is the 'Large Tiger Hoverfly'.

Images

Helophilus trivittatus (Large Tiger Hoverfly)

Most markedly, Helophilus trivittatus has black and yellow stripes on its thorax that run front-to-back.

Helophilus trivittatus (Large Tiger Hoverfly)

This hoverfly is larger and longer than other hoverflies, so usually stands out even to a casual observer. Its abdominal side patches are lemon yellow in appearance. The central stripe on its face is also lemon yellow. Its hind tibia is two-thirds dark, rather than the more typical one-third dark that ones sees with other hoverflies.