Common Drone Fly - Eristalis tenax


This stocky hoverfly is the commonest 'drone' fly, so called because they mimic bee drones (male hive bees). The orange marks on the abdomen are variable so are not a reliable identification feature, though most specimens have a single pair near to the thorax. It also has a very noticeable dark face stripe and curved rear tibia.

Similar Species

It differs from E. pertinax in having dark front tarsi and banana-shaped rear tibia.

Photo ID?

Gardens and hedgerows.

When to see it

Virtually all year round. The female hibernates in buildings and crevices but will emerge on warm days in late winter, leading to it being seen in virtually every month of the year.

Life History

Larvae live in organically rich polluted rivers and drains, the run off from dung, silage heaps, etc.

UK Status

Widespread and very common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map