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This species is slightly larger and longer in build than other members of the genus, and the yellow side patches on the abdomen are more pronounced often giving a more lemony appearance. A particularly good identification feature is the fact that the face of Helophilus trivittatus is entirely pale yellow including the central stripe.
It is often seen around thistles and umbellifers such as Hogweed. It seems to prefer drier areas than other members of the genus, and is often recorded in coastal locations.
May to October peaking in August.
A strong flyer and common migrant.
The species is widespread in England and Wales, less so in Scotland. It is never common in any of these areas.
Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland.
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