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 What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 11:58

I was out in the garden yesterday and there was a bunch (must have been thousands) of really small flies swarming over part of our grass. Not sure what was attracting them but there were loads of them.

A yellow and brown insect then turned up, hovered in place for a while and then started picking off the flies in midair.

I know it's hard without pictures, but any idea what it might have been? It looked like a hoverfly (but I thought they fed on nectar) or a honey bee (but it seemed very quick) rather than a wasp (but I'm not sure if the brown turns into black as the months progress). I couldn't get too close to it but it didn't look to have the two distinct body parts of a wasp either.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 12:07

I'm going to take a punt and say it was Pellucid Hoverfly though like you I didn't think they ate other insects. They are though one of the biggest flies in Europe and look a bit like a wasp/bee.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volucella_pellucens

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 12:20

Cheers TOWK, that's really helpful. I think it was a bit less black than that but it might have been what I wanted to see and/or a juvenile. I'll hopefully bump into it again this week.

Right length, we have some of those plants and it was precisely at head height so that's a match. We're also pretty rural with Hawthorn hedges down the garden so that's a match too.

What an ingenious way that they lay their eggs.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: aaaaaaaaaargh  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 12:30

How about Choerades fimbriata?
That looks like one nutjob of an insect.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 12:42

aaaaaaaaaargh wrote:

> How about Choerades fimbriata?
> That looks like one nutjob of an insect.


You might be onto something there.... my wife and my youngest both suffered what they thought were stings relatively recently. It might have been a Robber Fly bite. In both cases it really swelled up and were obviously painful.

There is often something that routinely divebombs me when I'm out there until I put on some bug spray at which point it stops. It is so loud and fast that I've never been able to see exactly what it is as it flies straight for my head and I instictively duck by which time it has scarpered.

My wife said the thing yesterday looked like it had a big sting hanging out the back.

It certainly has all the hallmarks of a complete heid-the-baw.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Mon 6 Apr 12:56

My money is on the Choerades fimbriata
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Thu 9 Apr 16:13

Definitely a robber fly and we now have a few of them now the weather is heating up.

It is pretty disconcerting as they just hover next to your head. I've started wondering what they are thinking....
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 27 Apr 16:10

The ones I've seen recently are like wee bees, they hover in mid air, nowhere near plants at the time and it looks like a couple o' legs hang down right at the back end. Their wings are just a smudge when they're hovering.

I've checked pictures of the names suggested on this thread but it's none of them. It doesn't have distinct markings. I think it looks like a bulb fly.

It's hard to say, as I've only seen them hovering, sometimes near my head, but they have a kind of drab body like this:



We've got some narcissus pseudonarcissus (native daffodils). I planted 24 bulbs a few years ago and we're getting steadily fewer flowers - this year only 13. Could be down to bulb fly.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: Sarah  
Date:   Tue 28 Apr 07:46

We have exactly what you describe as well onandupthepars! When I go to hang out the washing, it comes over and hovers right by my head, with quite a loud buzz, and like you say, you can distinctly see what looks like two legs sticking out the back. Weird thing. For a while I thought wood wasp, and the leg like thing was actually the oviprocter they use to lay eggs in wood but having got a close look again yesterday, I'm not so sure anymore.
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: General Zod  
Date:   Tue 28 Apr 08:36

I guess the most important question is do they have a thing for sweet drinks like Cider or Buckfast and do they sting? I've had them in my garden as well. Little tw@ts freak the bairn oot!
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 28 Apr 13:21

If they are bulb flies I doubt if they sting. Some flies bite but I haven't found anything yet to say whether bulb flies do or not.

bulb fly *

This looks like it, but I'm still not sure. Think I better try and catch one and get the magnifying glass out.





*(https://scotlandsnature.blog/2016/04/07/species-of-the-month-the-narcissus-bulb-fly-a-fly-in-bees-clothing/)



Post Edited (Tue 28 Apr 13:23)
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 Re: What bug could this be?
Topic Originator: buffy  
Date:   Tue 28 Apr 16:05

IpswichPar - Maybe they see daylight through one ear to the other? 😉😉



buffysbuns.wordpress.com

Post Edited (Tue 28 Apr 16:06)
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