Helophilus hybridus


Wing length 8.5 to 11.25 mm. In size and general appearance this species is similar to H. pendulus. The male is usually distinctive in having continuously broad yellow sides to tergites 2 and 3, whereas there is a dividing black bar near the posterior edge of tergite 2 in the female, and in both sexes of H. pendulus. The hind tibia of H. hybridus normally has the distal 2/3 black.

Similar Species

Helophilus pendulus, H. trivittatus and H. hybridus are all very similar. See Identification Aids below for help on separating these three species.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • the male has continuously broad yellow sides to tergites 2 and 3
  • the hind tibia normally has the distal 2/3 black.
Identification aids

The hoverfly Helophilus pendulus is a common find, particularly around water or damp habitats. The black stripes on the thorax give it the common name 'The Footballer'. However, there are other hoverflies in the genus all with a stripy thorax. The guide below should help you to distinguish the three Helophilus species found in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Helophilis ID

Recording advice

Make sure your photo shows the key ID features or explain how you identified this species.


Around pond and ditch margins where the water is shallow, and submerged grass grows on the blackish mud.

When to see it

April to October with a peak in July and August.

Life History

Larvae have been observed feeding in the decaying rhizomes of Bulrush.

UK Status

Widespread but sometimes local in Britain.

VC55 Status

Local in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map