Monday, 24 August 2015

A fly on the moor

Jane, one of our volunteer Community Scientists was out on the Roaches in the South West Peak District doing a bumblebee survey, when she came across this rather amazing insect:

Jane described how the fly had a bright yellow head, was very large (the size of a queen red-tailed bumblebee) and kept flying back to the same spot if disturbed.

We had never come across this species before, so consulted Ben Keywood, an entomologist from Sheffield Wildlife Trust, who identified the photo:

The fly is a parasitic tachinid Tachina grossa which parasitises the larvae of Oak Eggar Moth.  Oak Eggar is a moorland day-flying moth also of huge proportions.  The moth occurs across the Sheffield moors and is bright yellow or orange.  This tachinid fly is not rare but certainly rarely recorded.  Great photo!"

Jane e-mailed us to say: "It's fantastic - I'm always learning something new and seeing something amazing each time I go out to undertake Community Science."

If you have any wildlife photos or surveying experiences you’d like to share with us on this blog, please get in touch.

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