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Volucella pellucens

Volucella pellucens
Photo Information
Copyright: Thijs van Balen jr (Pentaxfriend) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 514 W: 24 N: 1888] (8048)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-25
Categories: Insects
Camera: Pentax *ist DL, Vivtar 100/3.5 Macro 1:2, Digital ISO 200, 49mm B+W Skylight KR1,5
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-10-15 12:52
Viewed: 3382
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Dutch]
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Syrphidae
Subfamily: Eristalinae
Tribe: Volucellini
Genus: Volucella
Species: V. pellucens
Binomial name: Volucella pellucens

Volucella pellucens is a hover-fly. It occurs in much of Europe, and across Asia to Japan.

It is about 15-16 mm in length with a broad body. It is mainly black, but the front part of the abdomen has a broad yellow band, giving it the appearance of a bee or wasp. The two wings are transparent, as with most flies, but the leading edge is amber, and there is a brown patch on each wing.

The mimicry of bees or wasps in shape and coloration is shown by other hover-flies, and it thought that this protects against falling prey to birds and other insectivores which avoid eating true wasps because of their sting. However the difference between hover-flies and wasps or bees is that the hover-flies have two wings, and the Hymenoptera species have four.

The adult Volucella pellucens is usually found in woodland, but will enter gardens. It lives on nectar and pollen, as with most hover-flies, and visit flowers from May to October, showing a distinct preference for bramble. It typically flies at head height.

The female enters the underground paper nests of the common wasp Vespula vulgaris, or the German wasp, Vespula germanica, and lays her eggs. Despite the conspicuous nature of the intruder, the hosts do not appear to register her presence as she makes her way into the otherwise well-guarded nest entrance.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae drop to the bottom of the nest chamber where they feed as scavengers on debris. This may include dead wasp grubs and adults, remains of food brought into the nest by the wasps and other insects living there. Mature larvae are sometimes on the combs and have been recorded feeding on dead or moribund wasp larvae and pupae which were left in the combs when the nest is abandoned by the wasps in the autumn. Fully grown larvae leave the nest and pupate in the soil below. If the host nest is in the roof or walls of a house then it is not unusual for the larvae to end up crawling about in the dwelling-space!

Adult hoverflies emerge the following year from about mid-May to June.

Notes Nederlands (Dutch) and German(DE) see Dutch notes

XOTAELE, Emile, pvb has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • HELO Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 6 N: 54] (352)
  • [2006-10-15 13:06]

très belle photo
très bons détails et très belles couleurs

Gran imagen con grandes detalles. Perfecto el color y la composición.
Una nota bastante instructiva Thijs.
Saludos, JL.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-10-15 14:47]

Gorgeous colours and saturation. Nice details, POV and composition as well



Lovely picture, with great details. And quite a good note too. Good job 8-)

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2006-10-16 13:28]

'Mooie foto van deze zweefvlieg, nog nooit eerder gezien.
Mooi scherp en volgens mij zie ik je staan in de reflectie op het lijfje.
Mooi kleurrijk geheel door de lilabloem met lichtgroene achtergr.
gr. paula

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