Hoverflies are a fascinating group of insects. They belong to the family Syrphidae, a family within the order Diptera (true flies). As they are often brightly coloured and very common in gardens many people will be familiar with them. Many have black and yellow markings and so are often confused with bees and wasps. However hoverflies are totally harmless and are definitely a gardener's friend, as the larvae of several common species have a voracious appetite for aphids! Very few hoverflies have common names. Indeed, those that do exist are not always widely known and agreed by all. For this reason we have primarily used the latin names (everyone agrees on these!) but mentioned the common names when we know of them. There are over 280 species of hoverflies in Britain and around 140 of these have been recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland (VC55). However not many people record hoverflies so there may be more to be found! The species on this page represent about half of the VC55 total and generally include the more common species. More will added as images are contributed to NatureSpot.
All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species, particularly from a photo. See our Photo ID page for more information.