Threelined Hover Fly from New Zealand

Subject: Three Lined Hover fly
Location: Karori, Wellington, NZ
August 16, 2016 8:35 pm
Just photographed this fly inside my house, and looked up on the internet to find what it was. Will go and liberate it now that I know it is a “good” insect. Thought that you might like to see the photos.
Signature: Heuchan Hobbs

Threelined Hover Fly
Threelined Hover Fly

Dear Heuchan,
Thank you ever so much for sending your excellent images of a Threelined Hover Fly,
Helophilus seelandicus, to our site, especially since you did not require an identification.  We have but a single image of a Threelined Hover Fly in our archives, and it is a ventral view, which is not ideal for identification purposes.  Your dorsal views are marvelous.  According to Landcare Research:  “Attracts attention because of its noisy flight  Important pollinator of flowers  Larvae are rat tailed maggots which live in liquid containing rotting plants or animals.”  According to iNaturalist, it “is a native hoverfly of New Zealand. The name corresponds to the three black lines behind the insect’s head.”  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award since you captured and released.

Threelined Hover Fly
Threelined Hover Fly

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for your reply to my email re the Threelined Hover Fly.
I give you permission to use my photos, if you wish in your “What’s that bug” archives.
I have also included two extra images taken after I liberated the fly onto some retaining wall timber. I don’t know how long the fly stayed there, it was gone about 30 minutes after liberation. Didn’t stay “on watch”, was getting cold, late afternoon time.
Thanks again for your informative email,
Regards,
Heuchan

Three-LIned Hoverfly
Three-LIned Hoverfly

16 thoughts on “Threelined Hover Fly from New Zealand”

  1. Hi Daniel
    I live in Katikati in the north of the North Island of New Zealand. I just found a hover fly on the inside of my window. I have never seen one here before so was worried one of our B & B guests had bought it from overseas in their luggage. I am so pleased to read on your website that it is a local and your picture is very clear for identification purposes. Thanks for the information.
    Margie

    Reply
    • We are happy to hear a posting on our site helped to allay your fears that an invasive species was being introduced to your area.

      Reply
  2. Hi Daniel
    I live in Katikati in the north of the North Island of New Zealand. I just found a hover fly on the inside of my window. I have never seen one here before so was worried one of our B & B guests had bought it from overseas in their luggage. I am so pleased to read on your website that it is a local and your picture is very clear for identification purposes. Thanks for the information.
    Margie

    Reply
  3. Lovely Photos – Just found one near Ngaruawahia, and we live organically on a lifestyle block plant a lot of trees etc so insect thrive here.

    Reply
    • Hi Mary! This is really interesting, we too are in Christchurch and had one fly into our house. We captured it and then googled to identify. Upon learning what it was, we released it outside. It looked like it had a huge stinger which is what had us confused, do they sting??

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  4. Found what I am sure is one of these. The body was longer and thinner than the image shown. However I released it once I foind this post. I am in Tauranga

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  5. Hi my son just found one of these inside our house in Nelson and we have not seen one before, were worried it had possibly come from the port. Thank you so much for your post we have now sent it happily on it’s way.

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  6. I live in Riverton, Southland and came across a huge number of these flys yesterday in the garden near our bee hives in the long grass.Quite noisy and flitting from one blade of grass to another.

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    • Hi all, have had a few of these in the house and have to say I wondered what on earth they were also but found this website and like many others have now started letting them back out to fly away. They’re reasonable big for a fly and pretty noisy. I have photos also but can’t work out how to upload them. Ruth, from rural Aongatete (just south of Katikati).

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  7. Hi my daughter just got one at her farm house at Henley Taiere.
    Very interesting.
    p.s Heuchan we must be related, my grt grandad Thomas Anderson come to Luggate with this uncle John Heuchan from Scotland in 1855.

    Reply
  8. Thank you I have never seen this bug before here in christchurch nz..I’m a gardener outside alot of course,,the last three day’s this bug has arrived and loves my glasshouse,,it’s also hanging around my flowering fruit trees,it’s loud gross between a blowfly and bumblebee noise made me follow it to see what it was,once it went into my glasshouse I could see it flew around like a hoverfly but once it was abit frightened it flew honeybee like banging into the glass trying to find it’s way out,once out it headed off at speed,,we’re in Woolston/Opawa. not many bees around since the earthquakes I was abit frightened this bug may be eating them,,now I’m pretty happy about it being around helping me pollinate my fruit tree’s and not worried about it bitting me :0)

    Reply

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