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Common banded hoverfly

Scientific name: Syrphus ribesii
The Common banded hoverfly has a fitting name: it is not only one of our most common species, its black body is also covered in yellow bands! It can be seen in many habitats from gardens to woodlands.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

March to November

About

The Common banded hoverfly is a very common hoverfly found along hedgerows, and in gardens and woodlands. Adults feed on the nectar of flowers, while the larvae are predators of aphids. This hoverfly has multiple broods; adults are seen throughout spring and summer, while the larvae survive the winter as pupae. The Common banded hoverfly creates a hum when resting by vibrating its wings.

How to identify

The Common banded goverfly has a rounded, black body with a pattern of yellow spots and bands. This is just one of a large group of very similar hoverflies that can be found in a variety of habitats. Many hoverflies are very difficult to identify, requiring a microscope to look at tiny characters, such as the shape of the veins in the wings.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

There are more than 270 species of hoverfly in the UK, ranging in size from a few millimetres to 2cm.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.