Batman Hoverfly, Myathropa florea

By far the most numerous and most common hoverfly in Lagoons is this species. Myathropa florea will lay eggs in a range of ‘Lagoons’ or water bodies, and even damp soil. This species is widespread across the UK, and abundant. Like other hoverflies, as an adult it feeds on the pollen and nectar from a variety of wild flowers, and is an impressive, large and colourful insect.

The larval stage, the long-tailed larva, can grow quite large, and have a impressively long breathing tube allowing it to forage deep within a Lagoon or tree hole, and breath at the same time.

What’s more, thanks to the Lagoons project a new discovery was made regarding their command over buoyancy. If a larva were to detach and float to the surface (it is naturally buoyant due to the white fat body which normally gives it its opaque white appearance) this species is capable of expelling air and diving back into the depths like a whale!

Adults are very large and colourful, best illustrated in a video:

Releasing M. florea adults, from the 2020 blog here