Tuesday, 24 February 2015

First Hoverfly?

I received the attached photo from Stuart Baker of the Wildlife Trust. He was working at the Southfield Farm Marsh reserve on 9th February and found this Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus sitting on his vehicle.
Episyrphus balteatus  by Stuart Baker

Now is the time of year in Northants when some hoverflies start to become active. Look in sheltered sunny places where the temperature will be a few degrees higher than the surrounding area. The usual first emergers are this species and the drone fly Eristalis tenax.

I attended the Dipterists Forum weekend wokshop at Preston Montford Field Centre over the weekend. This covered a general guide to identifying acalyptrate families and species identification to a group of these families where keys are not readily available. An update of Stuart Ball's key to Diptera families was provided. This included recent taxonomic changes and the workshop provided useful feedback to further improve the keys. The updated keys will be placed on the Dipterists Forum website in the members area.
Dipterists Forum workshop at Preston Montford - John Showers

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