Can you show me some ID please?

Does anyone have any idea what this is please? I assume it’s some sort of bee? (It was bee-sized anyway.) I’ve never seen a bee with just a white stripe before. They’re normally yellow or orange-y aren’t they? He was trying to get through my patio door, and was completely missing the bit where the door was wide open (in that way that only winged beasts can).

 What is it?!

And here’s the moody shot where he started buzzing angrily and telling me to put the damn camera away.

Attack of the killer winged thing

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7 Responses to “Can you show me some ID please?”


  1. 1 uphilldowndale July 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve seen and been alarmed by of one these mega bugs before, I think it something like a ‘forest wasp’ or some such, I’d look it up but I have no broadband or patience!

  2. 2 nathaliewithanh July 24, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I know the person who would surely know the answer to your question and I’ll pass your query along.
    I think photo number two is quite fun!

  3. 3 jason July 24, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Hi, nezza! nathalie with an h asked me to swing by to see if I could help you with your insect puzzle.

    But let me start with this: Marvelous photos! I really like the second one, although the first one helps most with identification. That one pinned down the answer. The second one though… Very engaging, especially in black and white.

    As for your insect, this is actually a fly, not a bee. I’d guess either a bee fly or a syrphid fly, although it’s hard to make an exact identification based on the images.

    However, a quick way to tell if it’s a fly or something else is to look at the wings. If it only has one pair of wings–one wing on each side–that means it’s a true fly. All bees and wasps have two pairs of wings–two wings on each side. There are other clues (eyes, antennae, etc.), but the wings are the easiest way to tell from these photos.

    Oh, and yes if you must know: I’m a nerd. But a friendly nerd!

  4. 4 nezza July 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Hey there! Thank you for that. I shall be able to sleep at night again.

    Wow – it was one BIG fly that’s for sure! (Which is why I was thinking it must be a bee.) But now you’ve explained that and I’ve looked at it again, it is also more classic ‘fly’ shape too.

    Thanks again!

  5. 5 jason August 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I found it, Nezza!

    I couldn’t just give up on generalizations, so I kept looking for your fly–and now I can give you a positive ID. It is a syrphid fly (a.k.a. hover fly). The species is Volucella pellucens. There’s no common name for it aside from syrphid fly or hover fly (which covers the entire family), but at least now we both know what it is.

    And I have to say again how much I like that second photo. Very nice!

  6. 6 nathaliewithanh August 2, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Oh Jason! You are the ultimate insect nerd. I swear!

  7. 7 nezza August 3, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Well thank you Jason! 🙂
    I still haven’t got over how big it was. Or the colours. Haven’t seem him since, but I have plenty of bees bumbling their way around the garden.


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