Thread subject: Diptera.info :: Sphaerophoria taeniata?

Posted by Hurlzzz on 15-08-2023 09:53
#1

Can anyone help me identify this hoverfly I photographed on the Savoy Cabbages (probably not a food plant!) in my garden in Ireland (03/09/2021)?
It has wasp-like colourings but has a long (10-12mm) slender body which tapers gently, almost to a point.
(I guess this, along with the gap between the eyes, means it's a female.)

Yellow legs and palps. Longitudinal striping on the bronze-coloured thorax.
Seen from the side (I have other photos) the body is quite thin and flat and has tiny yellow hairs on the scutellum.

The first 4 tergites have simple black bands but then towards the rear it changes to a complex combination of clubs and dots.
The yellow bands are quit separate with no axial connection between them.

Having looked at some other sites, it looks to me like Sphaerophoria taeniata.
Unfortunately, I am told this species is not present in Ireland but yellow hairs on the scutellum would indicate S. taeniata (rather than S. batava)

Edited by Hurlzzz on 15-08-2023 10:19

Posted by Hurlzzz on 15-08-2023 10:25
#2

Yellow hairs on scutellum

Edited by Hurlzzz on 15-08-2023 10:26

Posted by Juergen Peters on 15-08-2023 20:30
#3

Hello,

generally Sphaerophoria females cannot be identified from a photo. Your flies look exactly like the Sphaerophoria scripta females (recognized because of copula with a male (identifiable from a photo) S. scripta), which are very numerous here in northwest Germany at the moment.

Posted by Hurlzzz on 16-08-2023 11:53
#4

Wow! What a lucky shot J├╝rgen!
"And you shall know them by the company they keep"

Of course Sphaerophoria females are mostly impossible to tell apart.
I was just wondering if the complete separation of the black bands on my one was significant?
I see that the bands of tergite 2 and 4 are joined in your photo.
This is just like the other one I posted (seen this year).
I have never seen a Sphaerophoria male in the wild.
Do you have any tips for where or when to find them?
Thanks again!

John

Posted by Juergen Peters on 16-08-2023 18:12
#5

Hello John,

Hurlzzz wrote:
Of course Sphaerophoria females are mostly impossible to tell apart.
I was just wondering if the complete separation of the black bands on my one was significant?

the colouration and markings are very variable. That does not help in identifying.

I have never seen a Sphaerophoria male in the wild.

Really? That's nearly unimaginable for me.

Do you have any tips for where or when to find them?

Sorry, the conditions here seem to be very different from those in Ireland. They (males and females) are really ubiquitous here from March to October. Sphaerophoria scripta is one of the most numerous hover flies here in Germany. Actually I find hundreds of them every day.

Posted by Hurlzzz on 23-08-2023 19:05
#6

Some guys have all the luck!