Hoverfly - Chrysotoxum cautum, click for a larger image
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Hoverfly - Chrysotoxum cautum
Family - Syrphidae

A relatively large robust boldly marked grassland hoverfly species, widespread in southern Britain and Europe, usually seen flying near hedgerows, woodland edges and scrubby areas in small numbers where they visit a wide range of flowers.  They are most often seen from June to October with a peak in mid July to early August.  Wing length 10-13mm (0.4-0.5in).

Like several other hoverfly species C. cautum is an excellent Wasp mimic closely following a typical wasp in size, markings and flight.  Superficially C. cautum is similar to several hoverfly species and care is needed for identification.  The abdominal patterning has two straight black bars thinly joined in the centre per segment, with the pattern towards the rear falling short of the segment edge and gradually becoming more like the shape of a Whales fluke.  Larvae of C. cautum are thought to feed on root aphids.

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