Fig 1

DESCRIPTION: Wing length 4.25 - 7mm. A small species with some quite distinctive features that make this hoverfly quite unmistakable. Overall this is a dark insect with the thorax having sides that are dusted ashy-grey. The hind femora is black with orange-chestnut markings and is noticeably swollen. The abdomen is dark with orange or grey spots on tergites 2 and 3. BEHAVIOUR: Males are highly territorial with 'face-ups' quite frequent. The backwards and forwards challenges of the opponents usually ends when one submits. The larvae are found in compost, silage or damp manure. Some years sees a mass explosion of numbers, usually down to heavy migration. DISTRIBUTION: Frequent throughout. HABITAT: Found in gardens, flowery hedgerows, woodland clearings and meadows. PERIOD: Late April to early late September.

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