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Criorhina ranunculi (thanks Martin Hauser) Bumblebee mimic:
nick upton
#1 Print Post
Posted on 21-04-2010 17:10

Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 811
Joined: 12.03.10

I really thought this was a red-tailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius until I looked very closely and saw the dipteran antennae and hint of halteres. I then thought maybe Volucella bombylans, but with wings closed (better mimicry!), big hind legs and no plumose aristas I think that makes this a Merodon equestris and this colour form is I think validus. Can anyone confirm this?

Wlltshire, southwest UK 21.4.10

Nick Upton
nick upton attached the following image:

Edited by nick upton on 21-04-2010 18:03
Nick Upton - naturalist and photographer
nick upton
#2 Print Post
Posted on 21-04-2010 17:11

Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 811
Joined: 12.03.10

And another view...
nick upton attached the following image:

Nick Upton - naturalist and photographer
#3 Print Post
Posted on 21-04-2010 17:43
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Location: Sacramento CA USA
Posts: 193
Joined: 30.06.05

This is much better than Merodon, it is Criorhina ranunculi. Very nice spring species. This species can have a white tip of the abdomen or can be nearly completely whitish/light brown..
Martin Hauser
nick upton
#4 Print Post
Posted on 21-04-2010 18:02

Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 811
Joined: 12.03.10

Many thanks Martin for this really fast and knowledgeable response. That's why I post pics on this site! I read on the hoverfly recording scheme site that it's often active high up and may be much under reported as a result. Its status seems to be scarce, known from just 40 sites in the UK since 1960 according to info on the site. Maybe I should send this record in...
Nick Upton
Nick Upton - naturalist and photographer
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