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HOV158  ~~~~ Hoverfly  (Helophilus pendulus) feeding on ragwort  ~~~~ | by Mike Hazzledine -- British Biodiversity
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HOV158 ~~~~ Hoverfly (Helophilus pendulus) feeding on ragwort ~~~~


Helophilus pendulus. Family:- Syrphidae

Other names Sunfly, Footballer (due to the striped 'shirt')


Helophilus means "sun lover" and is very apt as these hoverflies only appear in bright sunlight.

The members of the genus Helophilus all have black and yellow/white longitudinal stripes on the thorax and are therefore easily identified at the genus level but it is somewhat more difficult to identify these hoverflies down to species. Differences in abdominal markings and leg colouration are diagnostic but H. pendulus is the only one with a black, central face stripe. The black on the hind tibia is restricted to the distal third and the mid tibia is all yellow.


H. pendulus is the most common of the genus found in Britain and as its larvae are aquatic and feed on organic detritus it is found around a variety of water habitats from large lakes to muddy puddles. They can even be found in wet cow dung and manure.


The adult (imago) feeds at flowers and can be found well away from water in most sunny situations along roadsides, gardens, field margins etc from April to November but are most abundant from June to August and often seen resting on a leaf.

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Taken on September 5, 2012