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Volucella bombylans, a Hover Fly

Click on a thumbnail to see the large picture (around 800 X 600 pixels).

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This one obviously imitates the Garden Bumble Bee (Bombus hortorum) and it is very good at it. You can tell them apart by looking at the head and feet. The real Bumble Bee has smaller and glistening eyes and long antennae. Those of the fly are very small, while the eyes are much bigger. The fly flies elegantly like all other hover flies and is able to come to a complete stand still in the air. The Bumble Bee flies in straight lines, less elegant and never does a stand still, for it can't.

To the left the fly, to the right the bee.

To the left and in the middle another imitator of the Garden Bumble Bee. But the one to the right clearly imitates the Red-bummed Bumble Bee or Layla Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), which is amusing actually, for that is a species rarely seen in our garden.

To the left and in the middle Volucella bombylans var. plumata, to the right Volucella bombylans var. bombylans.

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