Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Hoverflies > Episyrphus balteatus
Scientific Name: Episyrphus balteatus
Common Name: Marmalade Hoverfly
Episyrphus balteatus, sometimes called the marmalade hoverfly, is a relatively small hoverfly (9–12 mm) of the Syrphidae family, widespread throughout the UK. Like most other hoverflies, it mimics a much more dangerous insect, the solitary wasp, though it is a quite harmless species.
The upper side of the abdomen is patterned with orange and black bands. Two further identification characters are the presence of secondary black bands on the third and fourth tergites and faint greyish longitudinal stripes on the thorax.
They can be found throughout the year in various habitats, including urban gardens, visiting flowers for pollen and nectar. They often form dense migratory swarms, which may cause panic among people for their resemblance to wasps. It is among the very few species of flies capable of crushing pollen grains and feeding on them. The larva is terrestrial and feeds on aphids.
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