Hornet Mimic Hover Fly from the UK

Subject:  Identify Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Essex UK
Date: 09/03/2021
Time: 07:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
Spotted this apparently resting on the ground and wondering what it is. Don’t think I’ve ever seen the like.
Can you help?
How you want your letter signed:  John

Hornet Mimic Hover Fly

Dear John,
This is a Hornet Mimic Hover Fly,
Volucella zonaria, a harmless species of Fly that benefits by mimicking stinging insects.  According to Wildlife Trusts:  “At almost 2cm long, the hornet mimic hoverfly is the largest hoverfly species in the UK. As its name suggests, it is an excellent mimic of the hornet, but is harmless to humans. Only a very rare visitor to the country up to the 1940s, it has become more common in Southern England in recent years, and is still spreading northwards, perhaps as a result of climate change. It is particularly prevalent in urban areas. The adults are migratory and the larvae live inside wasps’ nests.”

Hornet Mimic Hover Fly

Thank you so much for that. We were intrigued about the strange insect.
You have been most helpful.

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