- Volucella pellucens
name = "Volucella pellucens"
ordo = Diptera
familia = Syrphidae
genus = "
species = "V. pellucens"
binomial = "Volucella pellucens"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus 1758)
synonyms = *"Musca pellucens" Linnaeus 1758
*"Musca fera" Harris, 1776
*"Volucella fera" (Harris, 1776)
"Volucella pellucens" is a hover-fly. It occurs in much of
Europe, and across Asiato Japan.
It is about 15-16 mm in length with a broad body. It is mainly black, but the front part of the abdomen has a broad yellow band, giving it the appearance of a
beeor wasp. The two wings are transparent, as with most flies, but the leading edge is amber, and there is a brown patch on each wing.
The mimicry of
bees or wasps in shape and colouration is shown by other hover-flies, and it thought that this protects against falling prey to birds and other insectivores which avoid eating true wasps because of their sting. However the difference between hover-flies and wasps or bees is that the hover-flies have two wings, and the Hymenopteraspecies have four.
The adult "Volucella pellucens" is usually found in woodland, but will enter gardens. It lives on
nectarand pollen, as with most hover-flies, and visits flowers from May to October, showing a distinct preference for bramble. It typically flies at head height.
The female enters the underground paper nests of the
common wasp"Vespula vulgaris", or the German wasp, "Vespula germanica", and lays her eggs. Despite the conspicuous nature of the intruder, the hosts do not appear to register her presence as she makes her way into the otherwise well-guarded nest entrance.
When the eggs hatch, the larvae drop to the bottom of the nest chamber where they feed as scavengers on debris. This may include dead wasp grubs and adults, remains of food brought into the nest by the wasps and other insects living there. Mature larvae are sometimes on the combs and have been recorded feeding on dead or moribund wasp larvae and pupae which were left in the combs when the nest was abandoned by the wasps in the autumn. Fully grown larvae leave the nest and
pupate in the soil below. If the host nest is in the roof or walls of a house then it is not unusual for the larvae to end up crawling about in the dwelling-space!
Adult hoverflies emerge the following year from about mid-May to June.
List of hoverfly species recorded in Britain
*cite book|author=Jirí Zahradník|title=A field guide in colour to insects |isbn=0-7064-0582-X|location=London | publisher=Octopus Books|year=1977
*cite journal | author=Stuart Ball & Roger Morris | title=Britain's largest hoverflies - the genus "Volucella" | journal=British Wildlife | year=2006 | volume=17(4) | url=http://www.britishwildlife.com
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