Thread subject: :: Platycheirus ?

Posted by Perseus on 30-04-2006 12:10


A common small species, but what is it please?'fly166.jpg

More images on:


You can see for the file name, I had a go at identifying the
hoverfly. Because, it is common (over 100 records) it is important to
ID properly.

Location: lower Adur valley, Sussex, mainly Shoreham

Habitats: towns and gardens and wild places nearby, mostly dry to
damp (not wet so far). Not in very wild areas.

Dates: April, but other times of the year as well, April to October,
but maybe some missing months.

The images are not works of art, but maybe OK for IDs?

Adur Hoverflies this year


Andy Horton
Adur Valley (West Sussex VC13) Nature Notes
Adur Valley Nature Notes: April 2006

View and upload your Sussex Wildlife Images to:

Edited by Perseus on 30-04-2006 12:32

Posted by Perseus on 01-05-2006 09:55

Can I assume that nobody can ID it because the image is not good enough?

More images on:

It is the best I can do with my camera. Will I have to catch one and if so what bits do I put under the microscope. (I suppose I will have to look this up!?)

Andy Horton

Posted by Nikita Vikhrev on 01-05-2006 10:29

Hi Andy.
I don't think that nobody can ID your Syrphidae. I can not. There are experts which can, but it seems, that after your sending thread they do not appear yet on forum. Other's silence may mean that other do agree with your ID as Platycheirus sp. but can not give you species level. So my advice - wait some more.

Posted by conopid on 01-05-2006 12:41

I'd go for male Platycheirus albimanus - it looks just right for this species. A very common UK hoverfly.

Posted by Andre on 02-05-2006 15:46

I agree to Nigels ID :-)

Posted by Andre on 02-05-2006 15:55

PS: at your site there are several mis-ID's. Like there is a honeybee (Apis mellifera) at the 26th of april, which you call an Eristalis sp. And at the 19th a series of 2 Melanostoma scalare males and 1 female, called "possibly a Platycheirus".

Posted by Susan R Walter on 02-05-2006 20:08

I suppose the only other possibility is P scutatus, but I would also opt for P albimanus, as it is slightly thicker in the abdomen and the spots are at best bronzy rather than dull orange. Also I would guess that this specimen is not dusted on the frons, although it is a bit difficult to be sure. Time of year makes me lean a bit more towards P albimanus than P scutatus too.

I found it useful when teaching myself Platycheirus several years ago to draw up a grid with the species names across the top and a list of external features including colour of each antennae and leg segment and basic notes on habitat and flight period. I found this easier to use as a raw beginner than the keys initially, as I could draw in information as I acquired it, rather than get stuck on a key couplet.

Posted by Perseus on 05-05-2006 20:14

Thanks for corrections and suggestions.

Let me know if you need to ID some seashore life. I am better at that!


Andy Horton.
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British Marine Life Study Society (formed 6 June 1990)
Shorewatch Biological Recording

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