04 August 2010

Not sure of the species

but it was a big devil and with a colour scheme and markings that make it rather different from the other bee and wasp visitors to our garden.

20 comments:

Indrani said...

Wow! Terrific capture.

jams o donnell said...

Thanks!

Ruth said...

Beautiful but scary. By the size and colour it was almost certainly a hornet! They eat honey bees in one bite :-S

jams o donnell said...

Thanks Ruth! That was our thought too but we couldn't match it to any species resident in Britain... perhaps we weren't looking hard enough though!

Roger B. said...

Good shot.

I think this is a hoverfly rather than a bee/wasp/hornet. It only has a single pair of wings and the eyes look much more like those of a fly.

A lot of hoverflies mimic bees and wasps - for protection. This one appears to be impersonating a hornet.

I will look it up in my bumper book of flies!

Roger B. said...

The nearest match I can find is Volucella zonaria, which is described as "a good hornet mimic" and "not uncommon in suburban areas".

nursemyra said...

Impressive

Ruth said...

I think you are right Roger. I knew hoverflies mimiced wasps, but I didn't realise some were as big as hornets. If it came near me I think I would err on the side of caution!

Gledwood said...

That's weird. I saw one exactly like that in London, sitting on a leaf dead still.
I thought it was a hover fly, but it was too big.
Then I thought it might be a hornet, but I'm not sure hornets have that bright yellow face.
I'm sure it was the same thing, it's the yellow face that gives it away. More yellow than a normal wasp, definitely.
I wonder what the hell it is..? Perhaps we're being invaded..!!

Stan said...

Amazing, shiny and bright. Thanks for this, Jams.

Gledwood said...

Also it had the same stripes. Real black and white bands, not black ripples as British wasps normally have, if you look closely.

WTF... we ARE being invaded!!

Gledwood said...

OK I've looked up hornets and the common hornet we get here is called vespa crarbo and it just looks like a big wasp. It doesn't have black bands like that one.

Some hoverflies do, but I couldn't find a proper match.

Here's a poster with 16 species of hoverfly from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Syrphidae_poster.jpg

but as I say, none seemed a proper match.

We're being invaded I tell you. Invaded!

jams o donnell said...

Thanks Roger.I should have realised it was a fly. We were shocked by its sheer bloody hugeness!

Ruth it was a big bugger Ruth! The not-wife was surprised when she saw it

Nursie, Stan glad you like the photo.

Gledwood thanks for looking we certainly are being invaded!

Roger again, that;s the bunny, not doubt. I really do appreaciate you looking for me

CherryPie said...

It looks a bit fearsome. Great photo though :-)

Knatolee said...

Wow! Great photo! I vote hoverfly.

jams o donnell said...

Cherie, Knatole thanks!

Greyscale Territory said...

An amazing looking critter! The distinctive yellow markings are incredible! And the wings have a shine of being waxy!

jams o donnell said...

You don't get a good idea of its size but it was a big beauty, Rhanks Gemma

Gledwood said...

Did you ever find out what this bugger is? I suspect it is a hoverfly, unless there's freak winds or an insect testing laboratory nearby I can't see how foreign hornets can get into our airspace!

What your friend said above rang true. Wasps have two pairs of wings to better manoevre that sting into school kids. Evil f§§§§§s, they're just stings with wings! Two pairs of wings as well!!

jams o donnell said...

Hi Gledwood it is definitely Volucella zonaria the hornet mimic hoverfly. Apparently it is becoming more common in the South East