Monday, May 17, 2010

Shoo fly don't bother me

Yeah, that cute little "bee" from a post ago? Not so cute. Apparently it's a...

Greater bulb fly - Merodon equestris - Family: Syrphidae

    Greater bulb fly - Merodon equestrisGreater bulb fly - Merodon equestris
    © Roger Key/English Nature

    This widespread and common hoverfly is a bumblebee mimic, taking on different colour forms to match various bumble bees. It is characterised by the strong projection on the hind femur, which gives it a thickened appearance.

    In spring, the males are seen flying low and hovering over short grass looking for a female. She lays eggs near bulbs, especially wild bluebells and daffodils, and larvae then enter and feed on the bulb. The adults may be seen in a greenhouse from February and outdoors from April to August.

    Food

    The adults feed on pollen and nectar of spring flowers, especially dandelion. The larvae burrow into bulbs of bluebells and other plants.


    I found the pupae emerging right beneath a stand of bluebells. This does not make me happy as at least half the plants in my front yard are some form of bulb or other.

    3 comments:

    Annie's Granny said...

    Interesting...looks like a regular old bee, huh? My neighbor had a load of composted manure delivered last week, so I could plant some stuff on her side of the fence. As I was digging, I kept coming across cut worm pupa, which is rather disturbing since her bed abuts mine. Like I need a cut worm infestation...NOT!

    Stefaneener said...

    Oh, what a bummer. And I'd never look closely enough to see it. Can you find a predator or something?

    Ribbit said...

    Oh, evil bugs be gone already!