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This is a hornet mimic and is one of our largest and most spectacular hoverflies which can be recognised by its yellow and black banded abdomen. It is chestnut on tergite 2 and also on the scutellum and much of the thorasic dorsum. The only similar species is V. inanis which lacks the chestnut areas and which has sternite 2 yellow rather than black.
It seems to be found most frequently in urban areas and even in cities, and also along the south coast.
May to November peaking in August.
Adults visit flowers. The larvae have been found in wasps nests.
This species became established in Britain in the 1940s and has very much a southerly distribution with most records coming from south of a line from the Severn Estuary to The Wash, however it seems to be expanding its range.
Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland but possibly increasing in numbers in our area.
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