Belongs to: hoverflies

Pellucid hoverfly Volucella pellucens

Best time to see: mid May to late Sep

Key facts

A large dark hoverfly with an ivory band, often seen hovering in woodland glades

Habitat: open woods and copses

Common throughout the British Isles


Dark with an ivory band across the middle and dark spots on its wings

Body up to 16mm; wingspan up to 15mm

Adults feed mainly on bramble flowers


The female lays its eggs in bumblebee and wasp nests

The developing hoverfly larvae feed on debris within the nest,

They pupate in the ground below the nest and emerge the following spring

  • photo

© Tony Gunton