Monday, May 2, 2011

Rhingia campestris

This little hoverfly Rhingia campestris always appears in my garden at about the time that the bluebells come into bloom. That long snout makes it instantly identifiable.

Apparently in breeds on cow dung. No cows in our garden but there is a farm nearby that must provide their larvae with plenty of glorious dung to feed on.

The adults choose more fragrant meals. I always assumed that they were nectar feeders but this one definitely had its proboscis embedded in the pollen on the tip of a bluebell stamen - but maybe nectar runs down the stamens in the bell-shaped flowers?

It certainly spent plenty of time cleaning the pollen from that long proboscis.

6 comments:

  1. What a little beauty. thanks.

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  2. What a nice fly! As for it feeding on pollen, I started searching for info on hoverflies feeding on pollen as I watched a Leucozona dabbing the stamens of Herb Robert the other day. I'll let you know if I find anything...

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  3. What a pretty little creature. Isn't nature amazing?

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  4. Hi Adrian, attractive little flies, considering where they spend their formative days...

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  5. Thanks Blackbird, I've often watched syrphids feeding on umbellifer pollen but I always thought the Rhingia proboscis was too narrow and pointed...I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can identify the plants that some hoverflies feed on by examining the empty exines in their droppings...

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  6. I think it's that snout, Toffeeapple, a bit like Pinnochio's nose...

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