Mini-tiger Hoverfly

Parhelophilus frutetorum/versicolor


Wing length 7 - 9mm. These two species are difficult to separate, the male P. frutitorum having a bristly tuft on the hind femora, lacking in P. versicolor. The over all colour is black with tan markings. The thorax has tan stripes down it and the abdomen has tan wedges across the segments.  The female has a more tapered abdomen than the male, but both male and female have widely spaced eyes.


Lush vegetation in swampy areas beside ditches or pools. The larvae of P. versicolor develop between the leaf sheaths of Typha, whilst those of P. frutetorum develop in muddy edges of pools, feeding on decaying plant material.

Status and distribution

P. versicolor has a wider distribution but is not as common as P. frutetorum. P. frutetorum is commonest in the south. What is probably P. frutetorum is common on the reserve.

Best time to see

April to September.