Fig 1

DESCRIPTION: Wing length up to 12.25mm.  This is the largest member of the Helophilus group with the typical black antennae, yellow and black striped thorax and the black abdomen marked with yellow angular blocks.  In the male the markings on the third segment are seen as a pale to grey arc line whereas the female carries this marking on the fourth and fifth segments.  Apart from the size a key ID feature is the face which shows a wide longitudinal yellow line. BEHAVIOUR: A very flighty hoverfly that can be sometimes difficult to get close to as it feeds atop various flowers.  This is a migrant species. DISTRIBUTION: Frequent in southern England and Wales, spreading slightly northward.  Never common anywhere.HABITAT: Seen around open meadows, damp areas and the coast where Thistles and umbellifers are found. PERIOD: May to October with a peak in August possibly due to migrant influx.

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