Autumn Silhouette

I am always attracted to how sunlight shines through leaves, and this fallen maple leaf is one of those examples. But here I had the added bonus of a fly which had landed on the other side of the leaf, giving me its silhoutte. Photograph taken November 2016, local park, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016.… Read More Autumn Silhouette

On The Windowpane

This morning I spotted this cranefly on my living room windowpane as I was eating breakfast. Grey skies and rain outside, perhaps it was wishing it was indoors. Photograph of Tipula confusa, taken October 2016, on living room window, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Chequered Hoverfly

Melanostoma scalare A fairly small and slender black and bright yellow patterned hoverfly. Length 8 to 10mm. The larvae are predators in leaf litter. The adults feed on nectar. Seen April to November. Found mainly in grassy areas or along woodland rides. Abundant and widespread throughout the UK. Photograph 0f Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare) taken… Read More Chequered Hoverfly

Volucella bombylans

This hoverfly looks remarkably like a bee, and exists in two different forms where var bomylans mimics the Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and var plumata mimcis the White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum). It is distinguished from similar hoverflies by having a hairy body. Length 15mm. The larvae are scavengers of wasp nests and feed on debris and… Read More Volucella bombylans

Nemopoda nitidula

This is a very tiny black fly which grows up to only 5.5mm long. It mimics an ant. The larva feeds off animal dung. Seen April to September, and is found in various habitats, usually found resting on vegetation waving its wings up and down. Common and widespread. Photographs of Nemopoda nitidula taken June 2013, local… Read More Nemopoda nitidula

Tephritis neesii

Sometimes called picture-winged flies, this species of fruit fly has distinctive dark brown markings on its wings which helps in identification. Length 4 to 5mm. The larvae feeds on plants of the Asteraceae family, in particular Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare). Seen June to August, and found where the foodplants grow, meadows and gardens. Common and… Read More Tephritis neesii


Sarcophaga sp. This can be a dificult fly to accurately identify as it is one of several similar looking species. This is a large fly with an attractive greyish-black and white chequer-patterned abdomen, a greyish-black and white striped thorax, with large red eyes and large padded feet. Length up to 15mm. Adult females deliver larvae… Read More Flesh-fly

Long Hoverfly

Sphaerophoria scripta It was late afternoon and the sun had retreated, but I noticed this lovely patterned hoverfly feeding on nectar on a shrub in my rear garden. Hoverflies have such beautiful and bright coloured markings, and are one of my favourite insects. Some people run from them because they look like wasps and bees… Read More Long Hoverfly

Sun Fly

Helophilus pendulus This is sometimes called the ‘Footballer’ due to its black and yellow striped thorax. The abdomen is distinctively black and yellow patterned, and the yellow face has a dark central stripe. The hind tibia is black in the distal third only. Length 13mm.  It maybe confused with other Helophilus species, but mainly Helophilus hybridus. The… Read More Sun Fly