When I first set eyes upon this little critter, I did think it was a Wasp, but on closer inspection and thanks to Google Lens, I discovered it was the Hoverfly.
As the name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers. Adults are very similar in appearance. Females may be distinguished by the former having entirely yellow femorae (thigh bone), and from the latter by having no hairs present in their eyes. Males also have bare eyes.
Hoverflies are brightly coloured and very common in gardens – many people will be familiar with them. Many have black and yellow markings and so are often confused with bees and wasps. However hoverflies are totally harmless and are definitely a gardener’s friend, as the larvae of several common species have a voracious appetite for aphids!
The main difference between a wasp and a hoverfly is that the wasp has four wings, hoverflies have two.
- There are over 280 species of hoverflies in Britain.