Subject: Wasp or vespa cadro
Location: Forest of Dean United Kingdom
July 18, 2017 11:23 pm
What’s this please
This is neither, though it is a very effective mimic. This is a Hover Fly in the family Syrphidae, and as you can see from the British Hoverflies site, many species are very effective mimics of stinging bees and wasps, which serves as an effective form of protective coloration for this harmless flies that are beneficial pollinators. We believe your individual is a female (space between eyes) Volucella zonaria based on images posted to British Hoverflies. According to NatureSpot: “This is a hornet mimic and is one of our largest and most spectacular hoverflies which can be recognised by its yellow and black banded abdomen. It is chestnut on tergite 2 and also on the scutellum and much of the thorasic dorsum.” NatureSpot also states: “This species became established in Britain in the 1940s and has very much a southerly distribution with most records coming from south of a line from the Severn Estuary to The Wash, however it seems to be expanding its range.” iNaturalist calls it the Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.
Thank you so much I’ve had everyone guessing on social media.. Great to know so I can give feedback xx