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Somehow this splendid hoverfly had passed me by, probably many times, without my noticing its presence in my landscape. It wasn’t until one of my Twitter pals (thank you, Tate) posted a photo of his recent sighting at Cosmeston Lakes that I thought ‘Hang on a minute. Why haven’t I seen that?’, and duly set out to find one.

200827 helophilus trivittatus (1)

And, like buses, once one comes along, a whole fleet is soon whizzing past.

200827 helophilus trivittatus (2)

One of the possible reasons I hadn’t noticed it before is because it’s a migratory species so perhaps there haven’t been as many around in previous years.

200827 helophilus trivittatus (3)

Also, Helophilus trivittatus looks a lot like its close relative Helophilus pendulus, but H. trivittatus is actually much more lemon-yellow in colour, and it’s a little longer in the body (which is noticeable once you get your eye in), and it doesn’t have the black stripe down the centre of its face that the other Helophilus species have.

200827 helophilus trivittatus (4)

This handsome hoverfly tends to be found in coastal areas or, as it prefers a damp habitat, along the routes of Britain’s main river systems in the southern half of Britain.