The marmalade hoverfly is a fly which belongs to the Syrphidae family (Episyrphus balteatus). We generally are wary of this insect because on its orange colour and black stripes, which makes us think that it’s a type of wasp. It is smaller than a wasp, measuring around 1 cm. in length. It has a thin body and is especially noticeable because it often has a stationary flight, like that of a bird of paradise.
It doesn’t sting and is completely inoffensive to humans. It is, however, very useful in the garden and on the veranda, as its larvae devour greenflies. Like the ladybird, it is one of the insects which are of great help to the gardener. The adult marmalade hoverfly feeds on the pollen and nectar of flowers and contributes to their pollination. Their presence close to a plant may be a sign that greenflies are present, as the adults lay their eggs near a greenfly colony.
The marmalade hoverfly can be seen in the spring and is common throughout Europe.