Hornet Hoverfly

Volucella zonaria


Wing length 15.5 - 19.5mm. This is our largest hoverfly and is a Hornet mimic. The face is yellow, the thorax glossy brown and the abdomen chestnut and yellow with two black bands. The wings have coppery coloured veins and the scutellum is chestnut.


Woodland edge and hedgerows, often in gardens. The Lower Path and Willow Walk are attractive to this species. The larvae develop in wasp nests, feeding on detritus and wasp grubs.

Status and distribution

This is a species on a slow northward march. Until recently it was confined to southern England but has now spread as far north as South Yorkshire. It has quickly become a regular sight on the reserve as a strong population has developed.

Best time to see

May to October.