Species: Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris)

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. Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris)

The Narcissus Bulb Fly is a hoverfly that mimics bumblebees. It appears in a variety of colours, enabling it to mimic different bumblebees. Adults, after emerging from their larval stage, live for less than a month.

This insect gains its name from its habit of feeding on and damaging Daffodils and Narcissi.

Images

Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly)

The Narcissus Bulb Fly is a hoverfly that mimics bumblebees. It appears in a variety of colours, enabling it to mimic different bumblebees. This individual has a fox-red coating of hair on its thorax, and light-coloured hairs on its compound eye.

Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly)

The Narcissus Bulb Fly appears in a variety of colours, enabling it to mimic different bumblebees. This individual - a female - is almost completely black.

Adults, after emerging from their larval stage, live for less than a month.

This insect gains its name from its habit of feeding and damaging Daffodils and Narcissi.

Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly)

The Narcissus Bulb Fly is easily mistaken for a small bumblebee but, on looking closer, you can tell the difference. Bumblebees have two pairs of wings (although the rear wings are often very small), whereas hoverflies have just the one pair. The antennae of bumblebees are stockier and much longer than those of hoverflies.

Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly)

Note the distinctly pale thorax and abdomen of this individual, with a broad black band, just one more colour variant of the hoverfly known as the Narcissus Bulb Fly, Merodon equestris.

Merodon equestris (Narcissus Bulb Fly)

This photograph shows two Merodon equestris hoverflies mating. 2023 seems to be a good year for these hoverflies!