Hoverflies are 'true' flies, belonging to the family Syrphidae. Named from their ability to hover, and often brightly coloured, hoverflies are common, feeding on pollen and nectar. Many hoverfly species mimic various species of bees and wasps, often so well that you need to look closely to tell the difference (hoverflies have one pair of wings rather than two, and very large eyes). However, hoverflies are harmless and a true gardener's friend, as the larvae of several common species have a voracious appetite for greenfly!

There are over 250 species of hoverfly found in Britain, of which 59 have been seen in Ely Wildspace (this list compiled by Mark Welch in 2015). Only a few hoverflies have common names.

If you would like to see what a particular species looks like, go to the website of the National Biodiversity Network and type the Binomial name of the species into the 'Search for Taxa' box. Or simply use Google search.

Logging species is an important aspect of our work in Ely Wildspace. If you would like to find out more please visit our page on Biological Recording

Binomial name Common name
Anasimyia interpuncta  
Anasimyia lineata  
Baccha elongata  
Cheilosia ranunculi  
Cheilosia illustrata  
Cheilosia impressa  
Cheilosia pagana  
Cheilosia proxima  
Cheilosia vulpina  
Chrysogaster solstitialis  
Chrysotoxum bicinctum  
Chrysotoxum verralli  
Dasysyrphus albostriatus  
Epistrophe eligans  
Episyrphus balteatus Marmalade hoverfly
Eristalinus sepulchralis  
Eristalis arbustorum  
Eristalis horticola  
Eristalis interruptus  
Eristalis intricarius  
Eristalis pertinax Tapered Drone fly
Eristalis tenax Common Drone fly
Eupeodes corollae Migrant hoverfly
Eupeodes luniger  
Helophilus hybridus  
Helophilus pendulus The Footballer fly
Helophilus trivittatus  
Leucozona lucorum  
Melangyna labiatarum  
Melangyna umbellatarum  
Melanostoma mellinum  
Melanostoma scalare Chequered hoverfly
Merodon equestris Narcissus bulb fly
Myathropa florea  
Neoascia geniculata  
Neoascia tenur  
Paragus haemorrhous  
Parhelophilus versicolor  
Pipizella viduata  
Platycheirus albimanus White-footed hoverfly
Platycheirus ambiguus  
Platycheirus clypeatus  
Platycheirus fulviventris  
Platycheirus manicatus  
Platycheirus peltatus  
Rhingia campestris  
Riponnensia splendens  
Scaeva pyrastri Pied hoverfly
Sphaerophoria scripta Long hoverfly
Syritta pipiens Thick-legged hoverfly
Syrphus ribesii  
Syrphus vitripennis  
Triglyphus primus  
Tropidia scita  
Volucella bombylans  
Volucella inanis  
Volucella pellucens Pellucid fly
Xanthogramma pedissequum  
Xylota segnis  


Protecting and enhancing Ely's wild spaces