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fly Narcissus Hoverflies

Identify It >   Fly Section >   Hoverflies Section >   Narcissus Hoverflies >

Scientific name:  Merodon equestris

Size:  Approx 15mm long.  Wingspan around 20mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the U.K.

Months seen:  March to August

Life span:  3 to 4 weeks

Habitat:  Woodlands, parks, gardens and hedgerows

Food:  Nectar and pollen

Special features:  Narcissus Hoverflies (sometimes called Large Bulb Flies or Large Narcissus Flies) look like small bumblebees.  The body is covered with black, buff or orange bands of hair.  Even the eyes are hairy.

The wings feature a deep U-shaped bend in the third long vein.  The legs are all black, and the underside of the hind femur has a prominent bulge.  They make a loud humming noise when they are about to take off, and when they are flying.

The 'Narcissus' name is given because they lay their eggs on Narcissus plants (daffodils).  When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow down into the plants to feed on the fleshy bulbs.  The larvae are a pale brown colour, up to 20mm long, and usually surrounded by brown daffodil bulb poop.  Needless to say, Narcissus flies are not popular with gardeners.

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