Dave Barlow © Cleveland Naturalists’ Field Club. 17th April 2015
The hoverflies are true flies ( Order Diptera ) in having just two wings and a pair of club-shaped organs known as halteres which aid flight. They can be seen almost anywhere there are flowers where they feed on nectar and pollen. Most common species, about 40 in number, appear in July to August. The larvae, commonly known as "Rat-tailed Maggots" live in a variety of habitats including drains, sewage, streams & ponds.
The Bee Fly is also a true fly and is so-called because of its furry body (i.e. a bee mimic). Common at flowers in early spring when its long proboscis is used to suck nectar. It is harmless in having no sting in spite of its appearance. Its larvae attack grubs of solitary bees and wasps in their underground nests. There are several species in Europe.
Hover Fly (Heliophilus trivittatus) Cropton Forest
Hover Fly (Rhingia campestris) Liverton
Bee Fly (Bombylis major) Great Ayton