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Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/3.2, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Bayram's Favorites-1, Great Workshops, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-14 20:32
Viewed: 7279
Points: 116
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hoverfly / Eristalinus taeniops

I remember as a child seeing a movie called "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor as the queen of Egypt. Now don't ask me anything about the movie, because I cannot remember, except the thick and dark make-up she had on her face, and one of the exquisite headpieces she was wearing. I recall the golden and black stripes in the material it was made of. When I saw the outcome of this hoverfly I captured, it made me think of that movie once again. I thought the stripes on this beautiful insect resembled the stripes on Cleopatra's headband and the title of today's posting came to mind.

General Overview
Hoverflies belong to a big family of small to big flies. They are among the most frequent visitors to flowers in the garden. In Holland and Belgium alone over 300 species exist! In summer the majority is sometimes seen in great numbers mixing with butterflies, bees, bumble bees and other flower adorers. Their strikingly swift flight, the standing still in flight and, in some species, their size is remarkable. Some hoverflies are among the biggest flies of Central Europe. Many species are very colourful as well. Yet it is not always that easy to identify them as being hoverflies. Some thickheaded flies and bee flies are quite similar. Besides some hoverflies are very dark creatures and these colours makes it hard to identify them correctly.

In hoverflies a great part of the edge of the wing is without veins. The vein running all the way to the edge in most flies, only reaches the last transverse vein, not the edge in hoverflies. Another feature of hoverflies is the so-called 'floating vein'. This vein just ends nowhere. Usually veins end either at the edge of the wing or in another vein. Both these features being present means you are actually looking at a hoverfly. Like with so many other flies males and females often look alike, having the same colouring, size etc. Exceptions are found especially among the drone flies, where females differ from the males. However it's always easy to tell males and females apart. Like all other flies the males have much bigger eyes. These eyes almost touch each other in the middle. Females have much smaller eyes, placed farther apart.

Just like all other flies hover flies go through all stages of insect life: egg-larva-pupa-imago. The larvae of hoverflies are remarkably diverse for just one family of flies. Some live in extremely dirty water (including stale), eating all kinds of decaying materials. In order to breathe they developed a long pipe at the rear end of the body, which they stick into the air. Other larvae hunt for plant lice. Some live in decaying wood, while some are a pest in agriculture for eating roots and flower bulbs from within.

Scientifically the hoverfly family has been divided into several subfamilies. Bee-like hoverflies have dark brown bodies, often with small white bands and orange like spots. They include the famous drone flies. Bumble bee-like hoverflies are often big, hairy creatures with broad white or yellow bands around the body, such as Volucella species. Wasp-like hoverflies are black with yellow or white spots. Most hoverflies belong to this group. The other hoverflies include a few very dark species and the famous Heineken Fly.

Interesting Facts
Apart from Horse Flies most flies can't bite. They simply vomit the juices from their stomach onto their food and suck the liquids up again. Hoverflies are not dangerous at all, as they will never voluntarily enter our houses.

Most hoverflies imitate wasps. There's a lot of variety among them both in size and colours. This is understandable, for so are wasps! Not only do they have wasp like stripes, they also developed dark wings, resembling those of the social wasps. Their antennae are remarkable as well: extremely long and wasp like, not found in many other flies. Sometimes you have to look twice to see that it is a fly and not a wasp!

Various hoverflies imitate bumblebees, but you have to be careful: most beeflies also look like bumblebees. The bee flies are even bigger than the hoverflies, extremely hairy and they have a very long snout. Some hoverflies imitate bumblebees so well, you might have a problem telling them apart. The hoverflies however are better flyers than the bumblebees are; they have much shorter antennae end bigger fly like eyes.

Of many species one can hear the wings, keeping the insect in place in flight. Especially on lazy, warm summer days this buzzing is audible, when lying on the grass, enjoying sun and nature. All species are welcome visitors to the garden, for their larvae feed on aphids and other plant juice sucking small insects. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

rcrick, c_rapp, haraprasan, eliz, Heaven, soccer, boreocypriensis, PeterZ, Janice, meyerd, Aaltjie, montivipera, zulfu, matatur, gannu, crs, cicindela, dB_grafix, bahadir, PaulH, Silvio2006, RII, ramthakur, uleko, rousettus, horia, anel, Alex99, oscarromulus, jusninasirun, Ken52, pilonm, Adanac, iris, Argus, Dis. Ac., goutham_ramesh, techranger, maurydv, Pearl, JORAPAVI, Michau has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: Simple cameraMiss_Piggy 1 09-19 02:33
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,

Know the movie, and would you believe I'll be heading to Egypt in November for a little break. This is a beauty the detail is superb and those markings are amazing, I can see the connection, looks great lovely work, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

Great sharp details and incredible pov. Love that you can see even the little suctioncupped like feet on it. Love the movie Cleopatra had to own it, you named your bug well.

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  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-09-14 21:49]

Hi Anna!

Cleopatra's headband is a good comparison. One also just could say that the beauty of this fly is as pronounced as the one of Cleopatra. Indeed, the picture highlights the stripes, shapes and colours of the fly very well and the great sharpness and clarity add to the value of the picture. Flies really are fascinating creatures, and your picture underlines this at its best.

Kind regards


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  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-09-14 21:58]

hi anna,
very beautiful caputure ofthis hoverfly. great composition and colors. your notes are interesting and i enjoyed reading and so your image.tfs.

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  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2008-09-14 22:53]


A very well composed pic. The subject is very sharp and well detailed. The POV allows for an opportunity to show off the subject and I also like the contrast in colours between the subject and the BG.

P.S. Well done on the 3000 mark!

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  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-14 23:02]

Hello Anna,

Very good capture of this beautiful eristalis. Very good POV and DOF. Excellent sharpness and detail. Excellent contrast with the green BG.

Parece el insecto de los faraones,muy buena captura.

More Anna
Baie duidelike detail en interesante notas.
Goed gedoen

Hi Anna, what a surprise:). Aprox. two weeks ago I observed this hoverfly while she was taking nectar in a water Lily flower. But I could not find its exact id. Thanks to your perfect macro capture I learned:) But your shot is better than that of me. I am attaching it as a tribute to "thank you" my friend. I am learning with you and thanks a lot for this beautiful howerfly shot
Have a nice week my friend!


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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-09-15 0:37]

Perfect title Anna. Yes, this does remind me of the gold and black patterns in Egyptian history.
Superb sharpness and focus - one of your best up-close images I think. See, practise helps!! And so do honest critiques!!
I have NEVER seen a hoverfly with these eyes - makes me wonder how it can see!
Well done

Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful hover fly. Most probably the same species we used to see here in India. Well composed shot with a nice POV and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-15 1:46]

Hello Anna,
What a nice comparison between this Hoverfly and Cleopatra. Amazing sharp photo in a perfect POV. Very beautiful markings. Great clear and contrasting colours.
Kind regards,

Hi Anne,
an amazing fly, well captured. I think there is some slight lack of sharpness around the antennae but its not a problem, the striped patterns draw all the attention. We have a similar species in Europe, E. sepulchralis that fascinates by its mottled (not striped) eyes. As far as your precise reminiscence of Cleopatra goes, I admit I had been looking at other things than the headgear!
Best regards

My dearest Anna
Excellent title. I remember the movie you are referring to so well, and while living with my daughter in South-Africa, Maryke once dressed up for a fancy dress as Cleopatra. Your image is really great and it once again proof of how small we are in comparison to the Higher Hand. This picture proof and confirms it so well. Details are good, and I especially like the fine detail on the hoverflies wings. The green of the leaf really brings out both the insect's features well. Good presentation. Very well done and thanks for sharing.
Kind regards
Aaltjie and Hettie.

Hi Anna,
Wonderful macro shot of this little fly. Also the Turkish one seems good :) TFS

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  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-09-15 4:59]

Hello Anna, great macro shot of this hoverfly with great notes! TFS.

hello anna,
nice capture of the fly, the pov is very suitable, the focus is spot on and the green bg looks great, the title and the story behind it is interesting,
keep up the good work,

Hi Anna

Unfortunately I remember the movie and the elaborate make-up and ornate head dresses. But I think your fly is far more attractive than Ms Taylor, especially the eyes, love the eyes.

Excellent sharpness, DOF and composition.

best wishes

Hola Anna,
A very enjoyable close up indeed my friend, executed expertly from a good viewpoint with perfect exposure and sharpness. My dear friend Ram would love this picture, I'm sure.

Wow, I am impressed! Your camera has a great macro facility. Once again a great photo, very sharp! You should publish a book called "Anna's Macro World" or "Anna's Creepy Crawlies" will make a really nice coffee table book! Once again, well done

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  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-09-15 10:23]

Hello Anna,

What a good clos-up of this insect. You have used a very well DOF keeping the whole insect in focus and showing sharp details of body and wings. Colors look fine and natural with a good contrast between insect's colors and leaf beneath.

Thank you for sharing,

Hi Anna,
This sure is a good close up because the lighting worked in your favour.
Great looking diagonals with the grass.
Notes are interesting too.
Have to laugh at your comments... the PPPPP.
Haha...never heard that one.
Best to you

Hello Anna!
This is absolutely fantastic capture. The fly looks very good with these sharpness and DOF. I like alos (a lot) its head - so big eyes and so colourful! And the note - wow - full of details!
TFS and all the best from Lodz!
Friendly yours,

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-16 7:09]

Hi Anna,this pic is wonderfull,the fantastic details make a difference,incredible sharpness ,the eyes of this hoverfly are simply impressive!!Thanks a lot to show us this beauty so perfectly taken,have a nice day,Luciano

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  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-16 10:10]

Hello Anna Excellent and superb angle. The top view is actually showing the superb eye structure and wing pattern. Well done Ganesh smiley tmrw

Hello Anna, superb macro shot of this beutiful fly. TFS and regards,

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-09-17 5:06]

Hi Anna,
what i love most is the contrast of the diagonals in this shot. The markings of this Hoverfly, it's position on the leaf and the veins in the leaf itself, all contradict each other in an amazing way. Very well composed and some lovely detail too...well done!

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  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2008-09-18 23:24]

Hi Anna.

Excellent macro, the contast and colors is magnific, good compositions and point of view.Complet note.


Hello Anna,
Kindly forgive me for my belated reciprocation to your kind critique on my butterfly image posted three or four days ago. I'm tied up in work and run a race against time to catch up with my return critiques.
Having said that, let me now dwell on my sense of utter pleasure after looking at this amazingly beautiful picture of an Eristalinus Hoverfly. With your simple camera, you have created an image that motivates me to trash my fancy DSLR equipment and then salute you for your creativity!
My old and aging eyes would never have been to see this fly that clearly, so thank you for making my day and best of regards.

Ciao Anna, splendid macro with wonderful "Cleopatra" great colors, perfect focus, excellent sharpness and fantastic details, very well done, brava, ciao Silvio

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-19 6:32]

Hello Anna,
You obviously have some shots well hidden in your archives!! Terrific capture of this fascinating Hoverfly with very impressive stripy eyes! Details are very sharp - it looks as if it would ascend from the grass and fly into my room any second! Beautiful colours too and a fine composition.
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Anna
superb macro for this insect with colorful BG, great sharp details, POV and composition. but also your notes great. Nice to read them. thanks for sharing, best wishes

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-09-20 2:34]

Hi Anna

A lovely macro here from you and a very nice presentation of this interesting species.
I've seen all sorts of hoverflies but i must say that i've always been fascinated by their eyes...and this is a great example why.
The perpendicular stripes here on the eyes and body make such a good interest point and attract a lot of attention. Your high POV does well to illustrate them from a good angle while the DOF keeps the entire insect in good focus.
Considering again that you don't use a very professional and expensive equipment, the sharpness is also good and as such this is a lovely macro.

Bravo and TFS

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-09-20 5:01]

hello Anna,
This is an interesting looking Hoverfly with stripes in all directions! You show the insect with excellent sharpness, the transparent wings are very well photographed. I also like the beautiful green of the leaf, contrasting well with the earth-colours of the Hoverfly. Like always a very instructive note.
Un grand merci
Have a nice weekend

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  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2008-09-20 20:33]

Hi Anna,

Very nice shot! Excellent focus and sharp detail, great colours.


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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-09-20 22:45]

Hi, Anna.
These days I was unwell a bit. After watching this shot I am almost OK. Bravo. Great macro shot of a very cute little creature. Reproduction of all its charming details is brilliant. Precise work. I also am impressed with BG. Diagonal structure of the leaf creates an amazing canvas for this beauty. Lights and colours are perfect. Upper POV is the most impressive. My congratulations and TS.

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-21 7:33]

Hello Anna! Good to see you back! That's a fine subject with beautiful markings!Great picture with perfect focus and very good exposure, it looks like a jewel, well done, thanks!


Merhaba Anna,süper bir makro.Harika bir netlik,tüm detaylar enfes,kompozisyon çok güzel,ellerine sağlık

Hi Anna.
Very good picture, sharp details and great composition as usual...Well done ...TFS.Best Wishes, Leyla.

Oh yes Anna- I am enjoying looking at this image. I like the way the fly is positioned diagonally with the thin lines of the leaf. The focus, sharpness and clarity is flawless and the framing is perfect with some room for the fly to move ahead. The compound eyes are looking rather unique and I like the notes - as always. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day. Best regards. Jusni

You have become like Johnny Walker; 160 years old and till going strong. Ha, ha, ha.
Your photos have become better & better.
Mario with friendly greetings.
P.S. Please say "hello" to Loot on our, Bernardete & self's behalf. Thanks.

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-09-22 4:13]

Hello Anna,
a very sharp and great details are seen.
lovely composition on the green leaf.
Beautiful stripes and design.
excellent composition.


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  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-09-23 6:55]

Amazing detail & sharpness. Very interesting study in lines and patterns that can be found in nature. Nice rich colors and contrast.

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  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2008-09-23 14:08]

Hello Anna,

You are showing us here a very nice shot of this hoverfly! They look as ours here in Quebec except for ont important thing: the eyes!!!! We don't have any with those so nice Cleopatra's eyes!!! Those eyes are fantastic!!!

Tou managed excellently the exposition and I like those green complimenting so well the yellow-like fly. I'm glad for you that you succeed to identify the species (not always easy!).

I'm surprised that you got so much DOF with f3.2 and I'm suspecting that that Sony cybershot is a brige with a small sensor (excellent for macros!). Am I wrong?

Thank you again for sharing with us this lovely picture!


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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-09-23 18:01]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic macro image Anna, seems everyone but me can take macro images, oh well I just have to look at this beauty and others and be jealous. Thank you for sharing Anna.

Well done, Anna.
Great details on this. I love the double diagonal on the composition and the simple green bg. Not a nit to pick.

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  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-09-24 20:05]

Dear Anna,
How 're you doing?

Y'day i had a serious trouble with my PC getting stuck..I had just marked your notes useful and had finished writing a critique...but the page just got stuck...

So am back again...today ....I agree with you..though i have done a couple of shots of this fly i haven't done from this poV.And from this angle the fly's markings definitley reminds one of the Egyptian royal's images.The contrast created here by capturing the fly on a green leaf is beautiful. The details fantastically sharp and crisp.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-25 0:57]

Hello Anna,
This is a superb macro!
Not only have you captured an interesting species of hoverfly, but taken it from an excellent dorsal POV with terrific sharpness and DOF to shows all the features, especially the strangely patterned eyes. Apart from this, the contrast with the green leaf BG really sets it off and the composition is very pleasing.
A very nice piece of work and thanks for sharing it!

Hello Anne,

geat diagonally composition.
Great of detail.
Nice pov, I like the reflections in the wings.


Hi Anna,
I loved the composition here and the details, as you mentioned these bands resemble Cleopatra's headband! and more i look at it i see tut face there as well :-).
Excellent pic.
TFS and convey my regards to good old buddy Loot.
Goutham R

WOW Anna... I missed this one first time around... outstanding... detail, lighting, composition, color, and very informative notes to boot... Very well done and a real pleasure to view. :)


Ciao Anna,
bellissima macro, meravigliosa composizione dove forma e colore raggiungono la perfezione, splendido il grafismo delle venature della foglia e i disegni di questa Cleopatra, fantastica la definizione dei dettagli, magnifici i colori e la luce.

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  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2008-10-29 4:24]

Hello Anna,

This is a very lovely shotof the hoverfly, Amazing details and Excellent focus and sharpness. Lovely composition and POV. TFS.


Hola Anna,
Excelente macro con gran definición, buena textura, y todo lujo de detalles, magnífica la luz conseguida sin brillos y bien distribuida, saludos
José Ramón

Hello Anna.

Excellent macro, very good details and colors.

Jose Luis.

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  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2009-01-21 22:25]

great note! i like your X composition!
great visual impact.
nice colors.


Hello Anna,
excellent macro, great sharpness, colours!

Best regards, Leonid

Hi Anna, do you know what those stripes are for? I mean, what is evolutionary function of it for this fly? I am curious. It looks like ancient Egyptian pattern, indeed. Or like a zebra stripes. Thanks for sharing,

excellent picture, very nice subject,

have a good day !

ciao, tino

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