Harry Green, Kevin McGee & Brett Westwood

The following note appeared in the Hoverfly Newsletter, Spring 2003.

While looking for hoverflies in Tiddesley Wood, near Pershore, Worestershire, on 4th August 2002 HG & BW were fortunate to see one Volucella inanis visiting to ragwort flowers growing by the side of woodland rides near the centre of the wood (SO930454). Despite further searches no others were seen until KM caught a female visiting Devil's-bit scabious flowers on 1st September (SO930455) and HG caught another female on 4th September (SO929458). As far as we know these are the first records for modern Worcestershire and, according to David Iliff (Gloucestershire Hoverfly recorder and editor of the Hoverfly Newsletter), the first for the 100 km square SO. Elsewhere in the old vice-county of Worcestershire (VC37) Mike Bloxham has recently reported Volucella inanis from Moseley around SP0881, now firmly in the West Midlands! (Worcestershire Record No 13 November 2002). Meanwhile we wait for Volucella zonaria which David Iliff tells us has been seen at Buckland, near Broadway, just over the border into Gloucestershire.

Incidentally it is worth noting that Devil's-bit Scabious has been steadily increasing and spreading along ride sides in Tiddesley Wood in the last few years and the late flowers (which continue into October) are very attractive to many hoverflies (especially Eristalis sp) and other insects

  V. innanis V. zonaria
Wing Length (mm) 12.25 - 14.25 15.5 - 19.5
Size-appearance Rather large Bloody massive!
Scutellum Yellow Chestnut
Tergite 2 Yellow Chestnut
banding (yellow and black) Wasp-like Very hornet-like

These two species are very big - Gary Farmer's summary table above sets it out very well! If you do see any very large hoverflies this summer we should like to hear from you. Please take a photograph!


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