Click to enlarge … click again to enlarge even more so and scroll up and down and marvel – as I have – at the intricacies of nature’s design, the power and the beauty even in humble flies… July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
Feeding time with Calliphora vicina – Bluebottle Fly. You can see why you don’t want them landing in your sugar bowl! Do not click and click again to enlarge! June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
Even the name of this fly Calliphora vomitoria sounds kind of disgusting, with the ‘vomitoria’ no doubt relating to its habit of regurgitating its food and then eating it again. But it is not really its fault, as we will see later. ‘Bluebottle’ sounds better, which is a description of its gleaming blue abdomen. It… Read More Calliphora vomitoria
I believe this to be a Greenbottle blowfly, a member of the Calliphoridae family of the order Diptera and a Lucilia sp. I did not realise at the time of photographing that this female was blowing quite a clear bubble for me. This appears to be quite a common activity in the insect world. So… Read More I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
I believe this to be the species identified in the title as there are several similar species. To note the yellowish legs, black antennae, black hairs behind the eyes, and there are several preapical bristles on hind femur. Although its has a similar metallic green to some of our Greenbottle flies, it actually belongs to… Read More Dolichopus ungulatus
This is one of the earliest flies to appear in spring after coming out of hibernation. The wings have fairly distinct markings, and the abdomen and thorax are light grey with darker markings. The upper legs are reddish-brown, and the lower section is black. Male and females are similar. Length 6 to 8mm. The larvae… Read More Phaonia tuguriorum
Photograph taken December 2016, front garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
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
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.
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
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
A rather narrow hoverfly with a yellow face and distinctive yellow markings on the abdomen, two of them nearer the thorax are smaller than the others and almost triangular in shape. Length 9 to 12mm. The terrestrial larvae feed on aphids, and the adults feed on nectar. The larvae are camouflaged to look like a… Read More Meligramma trianguliferum
It’s the end of October and I am amazed at the amount of insect life that is still flying around. I have seen butterflies, although not many now, but plenty of flies and hoverflies, and the odd bee. Oh, and loads of wasps. Here is a Bluebottle (Calliphoridae sp.) catching some sun. I am always… Read More Bluebottles Still Buzzin
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
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
I remember sitting on a bench in my garden when I suddenly noticed this rather unusual little fly on a plant pot. I had never seen one like this before, or since then. This fly mimics a wasp with its bright yellow markings. Length 4 to 20mm. Conops vesicularis is from a family of Thick-headed… Read More Conops vesicularis
Early morning, the sun has risen beaming down autumn sunrays, and above the sound of twittering birds in the garden I hear a high-pitched buzzing … it may as well have been a scream … I could not see the source of the sound at first, but then I saw this large Garden Spider dangling… Read More Breakfast, Wrapped And Ready To Go
On my walk to the local Beech wood this afternoon I passed some ivy in bloom on a roadside verge, and was quite amazed at how many hoverflies were busying themselves feeding of the sweet nectar and pollen. I was also taken how the autumn sunlight appeared to make their colours richer. They were that… Read More Autumn Air Still Buzzing
Photograph of a fly on a rose, taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens. ISO 200. 1/200 sec. f/8.
Photographs of Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), taken July 2015, rear garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
Photographs of Mintho rufiventris taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
Photograph of Greenbottle (Lucilia sp.) taken August 2016, rear garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
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
Also called fruit flies, I come across these on my local walks on Burdock. This species is called Terellia tussilaginis, and more can be discovered about it on a previous blog via the link. Photograph of Terellia tussilaginis taken July 2016, local field margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma… Read More Picture-winged Fly
Greenbottle fly (Lucilia sp.) on basking Bracken. There are a number of different species of Greenbottle fly, all having this bright metallic greenish sheen to them, and they are hard to accurately identify without careful scrutiny. These blowflies are often seen resting on foliage or flowers, and rarely enters our houses.They are abundant and widespread… Read More 1 Greenbottle Hanging On
A fly’s world view point.
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
A small drone fly with a pale dusted face and no central dark stripe. The abdomial markings may be variable. 10mm long. The adults are often seen hovering around flower heads in search of nectar on which they feed. The larvae live in stagnant water and are called ‘rat-tailed maggots’ because they have a siphon… Read More Eristalis arbustorum
Even insects have a sense of personal hygiene, and this Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) is no exception. It had settled on one of my climbing roses and was happily preening its long proboscis. Making sure it doesn’t miss a bit, getting right to the tip … Nice and spick and span … And time to… Read More Hoverfly Wash Day
Since I have built my garden wildlife pond this colourful fly has become a regular visitor. It is called the Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus), and sometimes more than one visits at a time, buzzing around quite noisily, alighting on stones and vegetation by the pond. They buzz around each other, maybe male and female in… Read More A Regular Visitor
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
This is a relatively small and slender tachnid fly which I discovered on a step. A dark, bristly species with distinctive red markings on the sides of its abdomen, and a pale grey median line. Length 8 to 11mm. The adults feed on pollen and nectar, and the larvae is mainly a parasite of Pyralidae… Read More Mintho rufiventris
Scathophaga stercoraria Who said romance was dead? These pair of flies surely didn’t think so. They found a nice pile of horse dung and let nature take its course. The males are a very golden-yellow colour, and quite furry. The females are greyish green and not so furry. Length up to 10mm. During summer the… Read More Yellow Dung Fly
The Bee Fly (Bombylius major) may have been seen visiting your garden this spring, and one could be forgiven for thinking it to be a bee at first glance. It is in a fact a fly which mimics a bee. I found this one basking in the warm sun on an old log in my… Read More To Be Or Not To Be A Bee But A Fly
I often see these tiny, colourful flies in one particular spot in a local field. They are known as ‘Fruit Flies’ or ‘Picture-winged Flies’. A yellow coloured gall fly with dark patterns on its wings. Length 4 to 5mm. The larvae feed on Burdock causing galls. It flies June to August, and is found where… Read More Terellia tussilaginis
Merodon equestris This bulbous hoverfly was feeding on nectar in my front garden. It looks remarkably like a bee, and has many colour forms which help it mimic different species of bumblebee. The legs are all black and have a prominant bulge on the underside of the hind femur. Length 12mm. The larvae feed on… Read More Narcissus Bulb Fly