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Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, Raynox DCR 150 macro lens
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-16 11:36
Viewed: 5095
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi, Got this shot on that lovely week we had in July, otherwise known as the Summer 08, there were loads of hoverflies hanging around a hebe bush in my garden and I managed a few shots.

Thanks to Ivan for identifying the species for me, and also to Alan for sharing a link to a good guide site.

Episyrphus balteatus, usually called the Marmelade Fly, is a relatively small hoverfly (9-12mm) of the Syrphidae family, widespread throughout all continents. Like most other hoverflies it mimics a much more dangerous insect, the solitary wasp, though it is a quite harmless species. The upper side of the abdomen is patterned with orange and black bands. Two further identification characters are the presence of secondary black bands on the 3rd and 4th dorsal plates and of faint greyish longitudinal stripes on the thorax.

The Marmelade Fly can be found throughout the year in various habitats, including urban gardens, visiting flowers for pollen and nectar. Often form dense migratory swarms, which may cause panic among people for its resemblance to wasps. It is among the very few species of flies capable of crushing pollen grains and feed on them. The larva is terrestrial and feeds on aphids.

Like in most other hoverflies, males can be easily identified by their holoptic eyes, i.e., left and right compound eyes touching at the top of the head.

Notes from Wilkipedia.com


Juyona, jconceicao, Amadeo, Argus, matatur, jaycee, iris, eqshannon, crs, uleko, cataclysta, accassidy, ellis49, angela926, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To accassidy: ThanksHil 1 10-19 12:07
To Argus: ThanksHil 1 10-19 02:55
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-16 11:57]

Hola Hilary,
preciosa macro,
buen foco, color y atractivo pov...
magnífica iluminación,

Hello Hilary,

Fantastic close up.
Wonderful colours with excellent definition.
Lighting and composition are superb.
Good notes.

Hi Hil
Excellent macro of this Hoverfly. Great light, focus and sharp details. Nicely composed on the purple of the Hebe.
Kind regards

Hi Hil

I have been away from TN for a while, in my absence you have really picked up the pace ! Top details here with lovely colours. Am impressed with your new style.


  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-10-16 12:14]

Hola Hil, buen macro, con una bonita composición, buena definición y detalle y tonos de color muy agradables. un saludo

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-16 12:22]
  • [+]

Hello Hilary,
This is a superb macro!
A great capture of Episyrphus balteatus, the marmalade hoverfly taken from a fine POV with excellent sharpness and DOF to set it off against a neutral BG.
Nice one and thanks for sharing it!

A perfect capture of a beautiful hoverfly imitating a wasp Hilary, focus and exposure are right on the spot, with enough DOF to cover the fly and a large part of that fine flower. A splendid macro shot indeed!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-16 14:34]

Hi Hil,

An excellent macro of this Hoverfly busy at work on the pretty violet flower. You captured him in a wonderful position giving us wonderful views of his face, eye, wings and body. Beautiful colors and very fine details. A perfect background and lovely composition.


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-10-16 14:36]

Hi Hil,
I think it is the combination of colours and the sharpness and the slight gloss about the composition that makes this a very attractive shot..The Bg works very well giving a nice contrast againt the flowers.The fly looks quite inviting...it reminds of a brooch with the kind of finish it body has from this PoV.The lighting is brilliant too.
TFS & Cheers

I quickly checked the date...to make sure you had some thing going on there that I am missing here..Glad to see it is timely...because all of our flyers are now gone...but as for the photo...I see it as a reminder of what to expect again after months of white stuff! TFS...and double that.

hi hillary,
this is abeautiful, the burst of colors look lovely, the image is well composed, sharp with good details, excellent work,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-10-16 22:33]

Hi Hilary,
Outstanding shot of this Hoverfly with immaculate sharpness, lovely colours and clear details. You have handled the natural lighting pretty well and have captured a fine pose here. Looks very pleasant to the eyes. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-10-17 4:58]

Hi Hillary
exellent macro image
very well done.

Hello Hilary,

Superb capture of this syrphid fly. Great composition, POV and focus. Splendid detail and wonderful vivid colours.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-17 7:04]

Hello Hilary,
What a fine capture of this little Hoverfly on a pretty flower. Wonderful light and colours and fine sharp details. I like the green background and the composition is excellent.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi Hilary
Nice sharp image of this small fly. Good natural colors, perfect homogenous background and very nice POV
I like it very much

Hilary, this is a beautiful shot of this Hoverfly. Very good detail. Have a great day.

Check out my personal website at:
Bill Houghton Photography

Hello Hilary,
Excellent macro of a very pretty hoverfly. Colours and background are perfect. You might be interested to look at this site to see if you can identify the species. http://www.hoverfly.org.uk/portal.php

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-10-17 20:26]

Hello Hilary,

This is a very good close-up of the insect. First I have to say you have got an excelent DOF keeping in focus both insect and flower. There are excelent details to be seen, on both insect and flower, due to the very high sharpness of the image. Must be mentioned the nice, saturated and vivid colors you have shown.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-18 15:25]

Very fine capture of this Hoverfly, Hil!
The colours are beautiful.
Great sharpness and detail.
Excellent composition.

Well done,

Hi Hil,
a nice macro of a beautiful hoverfly, I really loves these flies.
Well composed with fine POV and lovely colours.
On my monitor it seems to had been tad much cropped or tad over-sharpen but that's a minor nit.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-10-20 10:46]

Hello Hilary! What a fantastic macro, it couldn't be sharpier and the light is strong and beautiful. Technically very good, thanks!


Hello Hil,
Great capture, fantastic close up, superb sharpness and clarity, wonderful details, beautiful colors and nice contrast, very good depth of field, lovely oof green background, well done.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-03-09 22:17]

Hi, dear Hil.
What was happened with me? I have missed few amazing shots from you. This one is from them and it is simply amazing and outstanding. Fantastic scene. Its beautifulness is terrific. DOF, details, sharpness are great as well as awesome colours of the picture. My congratulations and Bravo. It is true masterpiece.

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