Milesia crabroniformis

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Milesia crabroniformis
Maggia fg34.jpg
Milesia crabroniformis, lateral view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Syrphidae
Genus: Milesia
Species: M. crabroniformis
Binomial name
Milesia crabroniformis
(Fabricius, 1775)

Milesia crabroniformis is a species of 'Flower Flies' or hoverflies belonging to the family Syrphidae subfamily Eristalinae.

This species is mainly present in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, in the Near East and in North Africa.

Milesia crabroniformis, female, dorsal view
Milesia crabroniformis, male, frontal view

These rather uncommon hoverflies are the largest among the European species. The adults grow up to 22–25 millimetres (0.87–0.98 in) long and can mainly be encountered from June through October in evergreen and deciduous forests (Quercus and Fagus species), feeding on nectar of flowers of several plants (Apiaceae species, Sambucus ebulus, Hedera species, Cirsium species, etc.).

They mimic the hornet species Vespa crabro (hence the Latin name crabroniformis, meaning ‘hornet-formed’). In this species eyes of males are holoptic, although they meet along the dorsal length of the head in a very low point of contact

Their larvae develop on decaying wood and rotting cavities of old Fagus and Quercus species.

References[edit]

  • Van Veen M. P. - Hoverflies of Northwest Europe, Identification Keys to the Syrphidae, 2004 - Utrecht KNNV Publishing, page 145

External links[edit]