The Buff-Tailed Bear Hoverfly (Criorhina floccosa) is an insect in the Syrphidae family of hoverflies. It is a Hoverfly that mimics a Bumblebee (a fly that looks like a bee).
The Buff-Tailed Bear Hoverfly has a long, orange or yellow-to-red hairy mass on its thorax and a broad, flat abdomen with short hairs on top. The female has a buff-coloured rear abdomen. It has tufts of pale hair at the sides of the abdomen, near the base. It has six dark-coloured legs. Like the Housefly, it has large compact eyes and smaller simple eyes.
It grows to one centimetre (a third to half an inch) long.
It is found across Europe. It prefers woodlands, hedges, and parklands with old deciduous trees. It is seen from April to the beginning of July in the Northern Hemisphere, but most are seen in May.
It is a solitary, arboreal (tree-living) bee, but it goes to the ground in search of flowers. The male is often territorial, defending its territory.
The life cycle is egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The female lays eggs, which hatch into larvae. The larva is a maggot or grub, like the maggot of a House Fly.
The larvae feed on rotting deciduous wood. When the larvae are fully grown, they look for a suitable place to pupate, such as damp, decaying wood in the base of tree trunks and dead roots of mature trees. The adult Hoverflies then emerge from the pupa casings.
The adult fly feeds on nectar from flowers.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM