The Gardener’s Best Friend

Meligramma trianguliferum

I discovered this brightly coloured hoverfly larva on my sweet pea doing its duty and eating an aphid. This one is not very big in size, but they come in all manner of shapes, sizes, patterns and colours, depending on the species. One thing is that those species that eat aphids have a huge appetite for them, helping the gardener keep the pest aphids at bay.

Photograph  taken of hoverfly Meligramma trianguliferum larva in August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Update: Thanks to Mick E Talbot at his fabulous blog ‘My Garden Diversity’, who has helped me identify this hoverfly larva as Meligramma trianguliferum. Below is the only photo of the adult I have, which was taken in 2013.

Meligramma trianguliferum

8 thoughts on “The Gardener’s Best Friend

  1. Meligramma triangguliferum, I’m sure it is that species. The adult is relatively small, wingspan 5 to 8 mm, and in the main favours woodland edges, hedgerows and scrubland. Its distribution in Staffordshire is sparse to local not at all common, The markings on the abdomen are in some case a darkish yellow, virgin on orange, otherwise a dark yellow. and the marks on T2 are some what triangular in shape. Images of adults can be found using this link

    Reference: Britain’s Hoverflies by Stuart and Roger Ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Mick this is fabulous! I have the book you referenced here and larva is the bottom image. Thanks a lot for your help in identification. I have never seen this adult hoverfly in my garden, but out along the local woodland margins, and I have a photo of it somewhere. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete,
        On the subject of the book I do have an image in it, on page 15,9 Cheilosia pagana, in both editions, tara, taraa. Something I don’t do that often, is blow my own trumpet, just thought you might find it of interest to know?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just checked out your image, and have seen your name in the photo credits also. Nice one Mick, and well done!

      3. Thanks Pete,
        I still have a keen interest in hovers, however, just not seeing them like last year. Not just hovers, all manner of arthropods are jus not about as there were in not so long ago past years. For butterflies its been really bad, no common blues, smaller coppers, ringlets, painted ladies, large skippers, I could go on. The wall brown I haven’t seen at my locale for over twenty years. Apart from May this year its been really, really bad for just about everything. All of which beggars the question, (you being a tad further south), what has your season been like?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It has been similar here. Although I have seen the Common Blue and the Holly Blue, no sign of any of the Small Copper for a while. I have seen the Small and Large Skippers, and the usual Whites, but the Peacock and the Red Admiral seem thinner on the ground than I have ever known. I have seen a few species of hoverfly, but again, they seem thin on the ground compared to previous years. Yet the bees seem doing well. Plenty of Common Carder Bumblebee, Honey Bee, Early Bumblebee and the like visiting the gardens, along with solitary bees.

        Liked by 1 person

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