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Britain's Hoverflies: A Field Guide

Britain's Hoverflies: A Field Guide

Stuart Ball
Roger Morris
Series: WILDGuides
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: REV - Revised, 2
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Britain's Hoverflies: A Field Guide
    Book Description:

    Britain's Hoverfliesis a beautifully illustrated photographic field guide to the hoverflies of Britain, focusing on the species that can be most readily identified. It is the perfect companion for wildlife enthusiasts, professional ecologists and anyone else with an interest in this fascinating group of insects, and is designed to appeal to beginners and experts alike.

    Accessible, authoritative and easy to use, this book contains hundreds of remarkable photographs of the various life stages of those species that can be identified by eye or with a magnifying glass, with coverage of at least one representative from each of the British genera. It also features an essential guide to the hoverfly tribes. Detailed species accounts summarize the species' status, highlight the key identification features, provide notes on behaviour and habitat requirements and include flight-period charts and up-to-date distribution maps. Sections on hoverfly biology, where and when to look for hoverflies, legislation and conservation, photographing hoverflies, recording hoverflies and gardening for hoverflies are also included.

    This fully revised and updated second edition:

    Features more than 650 stunning colour photographsProvides detailed information for the 167 species that can be most readily identified, including at least one species from each of the 68 genera recorded in BritainIncludes a complete list of the 283 hoverfly species recorded in Britain to date, with an indication of how difficult each is to identify

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6602-1
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-5)
  3. [Illustration]
    (pp. 6-6)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. 7-7)
    Alan Stubbs

    Hoverflies have long been regarded as nice insects, charismatic even. And they get a good press as man’s friend, not only because they are colourful and tamely sit on flowers, but because many are useful to gardeners in controlling the numbers of aphids attacking plants.

    Yet despite this popularity, many people would not be sure whether they are looking at a hoverfly or not. Many species are excellent mimics of bees and wasps, and such is the variety of appearance that many other species would not be recognised as hoverflies at all.

    One of the big incentives to looking at...

  5. [Illustration]
    (pp. 8-8)
  6. Preface
    (pp. 9-9)
    Stuart Ball and Roger Morris
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 10-11)

    On any fine day between April and October, whether you are in the countryside or in an urban or suburban park or garden, you are likely to come across brightly coloured, black-and-yellow flies hovering around flowers. Although they are trying to convince you they are wasps or bees, they are actually hoverflies. They are such constant flower visitors that, in some other parts of the world, they are called ‘flower flies’.

    At the time of writing, 283 species of hoverfly have been found in the British Isles, although more are being discovered at an average of about one species per...

  8. Is it a Hoverfly?
    (pp. 12-13)
  9. Hoverfly biology
    (pp. 14-33)

    The adult stage is what we normally see and think of as ‘the hoverfly’. They are relatively short-lived and survive for a few days to a few weeks. One mark-release-recapture exercise revealed that the large, black-and-white Great Pied HoverflyVolucella pellucenscan live for at least 35 days, although the average adult life-span was 12 days. Recent mark-recapture studies ofHammerschmidtia ferrugineafound the maximum adult lifespan to be 55 days. The primary function of the adult is to mate, disperse and lay eggs. Energy and protein are required to form the eggs. In the main, adult hoverflies obtain these...

  10. Finding hoverflies
    (pp. 34-45)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 46-48)
  12. Identifying hoverflies
    (pp. 49-70)

    A few hoverflies can be readily identified by sight in the field, even from some distance. For example, the large black-and-whiteVolucella pellucens, hovering at head height in a sunbeam along a woodland path, is quite unmistakable and can be easily identified without needing to get close.

    Many more species can be identified in the field with a little more practice and experience; and that is what this book is primarily about. In many cases, you are going to need to get closer, perhaps within half a metre (a foot or two) of the flower on which the hoverfly is...


  14. List of British and Irish hoverflies
    (pp. 276-284)
  15. Photographing hoverflies
    (pp. 285-290)
  16. Collecting hoverflies
    (pp. 291-295)
  17. Legislation and conservation
    (pp. 296-296)
  18. Recording hoverflies
    (pp. 297-298)
  19. Gardening for hoverflies
    (pp. 299-301)
  20. Further reading and useful addresses
    (pp. 302-304)
  21. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 304-304)
  22. Photographic credits
    (pp. 305-308)
  23. Index of scientific names
    (pp. 309-312)