Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Hoverflies > Volucella bombylans, var. plumata
Scientific Name: Volucella bombylans, var. plumata
Common Name: N/A
Volucella bombylans is an excellent mimic of a bumblebee and is found throughout most of the UK. There are two main varieties which mimic different species of bumblebee, one with an orange-red tail (var. bombylans) and the other with a white tail (var. plumata, as seen in the photo above).
Its large size, distinctive pattern and plumed antennae make it relatively easy to identify. Found in hedgerows, woodland margins and urban wasteland. It can be found from May until September, peaking in June.
The female lays its eggs in the nests of bumblebees and wasps where the larvae feed on debris and occasionally the bee larvae. Widespread and common in the UK.
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