Volucella bombylans

Description

This hoverfly is an excellent mimic of a bumblebee and is found throughout most of the UK. There are two main varieties which mimic different species of bumblebee, one with an orange-red tail (V. bombylans) and the other with a white tail (V. plumata). Its large size, distinctive pattern and plumed antennae make it relatively easy to identify.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Hedgerows, woodland margins and urban wasteland.

When to see it

It can be found from May until September, peaking in June.

Life History

The female lays its eggs in the nests of bumblebees and wasps where the larvae feed on debris and occasionally the bee larvae.

UK Status

Widespread and common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Hoverflies
Kingdom:
Animalia
Order:
Diptera
Family:
Syrphidae
Records on NatureSpot:
133
First record:
01/07/2005 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
16/06/2024 (Harding, Ian)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records