Worcestershire Record No. 17 November 2004 p. 30


Volucella inanis and Volucella zonaria move NW

Brett Westwood & Harry Green

In July 2004 BW recorded both these species in his garden in Stourbridge. Both records are nationally the most north-westerly to date for two species that are increasing their range. We have reported Volucella inanis from Tiddesley Wood near Pershore (see Kevin McGee’s article for further sightings in 2004) but there are no other records of Volucella zonaria in Worcestershire as far as we know. The 2004 record is in VC37!

Volucella inanis appears to be closely associated with hornets and an ectoparasite of its larvae. Maybe its recent success is related to the increases in hornets. The larvae of V. zonaria are associated with social wasps notably Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris but whether as a parasite or scavenger appears to be unclear.

These are often hoverflies of towns and suburbs, possibly because these places tend to be warmer through the winter months than the countryside.

We hope to write further on these two interesting species in the April 2005 Worcestershire Record. Worcestershire is probably being invaded by both so please keep a sharp look out for them when they are on the wing in July. Brush up on the identification in Stubbs & Falk.

Volucella inanis. Photo ©Kevin McGee Volucella zonaria photo © Harry Green

Stubbs A, Falk S. 2002. British Hoverflies. British Entomological & Natural History Society
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