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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

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#1 2008-07-10 21:40:24

TSwede
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2008-07-10
Posts: 3

Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

Hi All - I've just registered with the site to see if I could get help identifying a fly I saw today.
Hope you can help...
It was big - very big - bigger that any bluebottle I've seen.. and was a regular fly shape - you know... not furry or gnatish.. looked like an exaggerated version of a fly you'd see round the house.. 'jet fighter' wings etc..
It was black, not really furry, shinyish and had a whitish yellow broad single pronounced stripe that ran across the middle of it's back and across both wings. This made the blackish wings look very attractive too - they matched the body perfectly..
It was in fact very attractive.. being all black with this single pronounced stripe..  but a whopper! so I didn't get too close... sorry - no picture...

Thanks in anticipation - BTW I am 40 years old and I've never seen one like it

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#2 2008-07-11 01:40:09

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

I was wondering if it could be Volucella pellucens ?

Have a look at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Volu … ucens2.jpg

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#3 2008-07-11 14:39:25

TSwede
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2008-07-10
Posts: 3

Re: Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

YES! that's it!
I just looked on the web andz found other pictures to - one states it is one of the largest flies in Britain which ties in my my perception of the size of it...

Many thanks indeed - I looked for ages and found nothing...

Are they quite common?

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#4 2008-07-11 15:19:07

Mark
DF Members
Name: Mark Mitchell
From: Hampshire
Registered: 2008-06-17
Posts: 273

Re: Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

The are certainly not uncommon here in Surrey, I have see 3 so far this year. It has been well recorded from most parts of the UK (records are scarce in Ireland) but I am not sure how common it is "up t' North"?

They are plenty bad tempered when caught, but lack any means to back up that temper, so you could have handled it.

Most of the other UK Volucella are of a similar size, in terms of body mass they have got to be among of the larges of UK flies (Unless someone knows better?) There is a continental Hover-fly that is a Hornet mimic that is somewhat larger (the name escapes me), with global warming we could well see it in the UK too?

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#5 2008-07-11 19:04:57

TSwede
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2008-07-10
Posts: 3

Re: Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

Fascinating creatures.... ! Flies...

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#6 2008-07-12 23:17:51

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 703
Website

Re: Mother of all flies! Identification help needed

Hi
V pellucens occurs throughout the UK. It's certainly common here in Shropshire. In gardens and particularly in woodlands. It's a magnificent beast! There's a map of its distribution at http://www.hoverfly.org.uk/portal.php?i … amp;page=4

The massive hornet mimic is Milesia crabroniformis and the last edition of British Wildlife says that it may well have been seen in Cornwall earlier this year. What a treat if that were to spread throughout the UK.


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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