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Long Hover Fly Sphaerophoria scripta

The hover flies of the gender Sphaerophoria are all small, black with yellow lining and very similar to one another. In the field they can not be told apart, except for one: the male Long Hover Fly. It is the only Sphaerophoria of which the body is longer than the wings are. The females all have the traditional hover fly body and can not be told apart without micsroscopic examination of the genitals. Still we assure you that the females in the pictures are all Long Hover Flies. We didn't do any microscopic examination, but the male did! The markings on the body of the male are very variable. Some animals have a few thin yellow lines only, while others seem to have a yellow abdomen.

The Long Hover Fly can be seen from April to November. It likes to hurry, for the whole life cycle can be completed in just 16 days. In Western Europe that means up to 9 generations in just one season. Very often this is the most abundant smaller hover fly in one's garden.