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 bird dropping.
Seen April to September. Broadleaved woodland, hedgerows and scrub. The adults are often seen feeding on umbels or basking in the sun on vegetation on woodland margins, or even in gardens. Scarce but widely distributed in England, more frequent in the south, and scarcer further north.
Photograph 0f Meligramma trianguliferum taken May 2013, local woodland margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2013. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.
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.