With an unexpected free hour becoming available, and the sun shining, there was only one place I was likely to head, especially as now is the time of year to start cracking some of those new year resolutions. Specifically, I was hoping to find the bumblebee mimicking hoverfly Criorhina ranunculi, one of my resolutions from my 2015 hoverfly review post. Initially things didn't look too promising, a lot of the sallows weren't really flowering yet, and the few that were, were way out of reach in the canopy. As I pressed on into the wood there were at least some hoverflies to look at, the common Eristalis pertinax seems to be having a particularly good spring. I also allowed myself to be briefly distracted by my first butterfly of the year in the shape of a slightly worn out looking Comma, and a collection of odd looking fungi which turned out to be stump puffballs.
The initial results looked something like this, with the fly a mere speck in the centre of the image.
A judicious bit of cropping later though, and enough detail remains to be clear that this is indeed a Criorhina ranunculi.
|Criorhina ranunculi, with the red tail and pale hairs on the thorax clearly visible|
|Criorhina in silhouette, the distinctive face shape and colour, as well as the antennal shape, show well|