Most people hate flies, or at least struggle a lot to like them.
But you shouldn’t dislike hoverflies which are both beautiful and remarkable.
So thanks to Rob Wolton who took this great photo of the hoverfly Arctophila superbiens – which is superbly like a furry bumble bee.
But most interesting: Rob thinks its been a good year for these animals around his Devon home where the larvae have been found in water-filled hoofprints along shady and muddy paths, a habitat which has probably been more than usually abundant this year.
The aquatic larvae of this hoverfly are known as rat-tailed maggots because of their long breathing-tube tails. I have another of these aquatic hoverflies in the garden pond – where the more waspy looking Helophilus pendulus is a common resident. It too has a rat-tailed larva.
I’m always struck by the supreme prejudice that manages, in just three words, to combine two of the most despised kinds of wildlife: rats and maggots.
Prizes will be awarded for anyone who can rename these little miracles of nature!
So if you’ve got a more rural garden, get some hoof prints around your pond, and this animal might be your reward.
The original picture can be seen at the excellent Locks Park Farm blog: have a look.