Who Needs Pesticides?

Syrphus sp

This is the larvae of a hoverfly Syrphus sp. I found it on one of my roses, where it was no doubt keeping the greenfly down. One of the true gardeners friends.

Syrphus sp

In case you were wondering which was the front and the back of this thing, the rear has the two little orangy nodules. In the image below shows the head end.

Syrphus sp

I used to find these larvae used to turn my stomach with their semi-translucency and the way they squirmed when they moved, but now I mavel at them, and appreciate them for their intricacy in design, and the amazing diverse creatures they are.

Syrphus sp

Click and click again on the images to get that little bit closer …

May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Hoverfly Larva

Hoverfly larva

This apparent small blob of semi-translucent jelly is a hoverfly larva. I discovered this one on my roses, and it loves aphids and should help to keep their numbers down.

I don’t know what species it is, but it is quite amazing to think that after consuming hundreds of aphids in this stage it will grow into an adult similar to what can be seen below. It is called the Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus).

Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

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