Humming Syrphus

Syrphus ribesii


Wing length 7.5 - 11.5mm. The thorax is brown with two paler stripes and the abdomen is black with yellow bands. There are three more, very similar species recorded in Britain, one is extremely rare, S. rectus, but the other two are also fairly common, S. torvus and S. vitripennis. Of the females, any with completely yellow hind femora are S. ribesii, but males need much closer examination to determine the species. The males of S. torvus have hairy eyes (so do the females but these are harder to see). A female with a black hind femur and bare eyes will be S. vitripennis.


Woodland and hedgerows. The males of S. ribesii hum in the canopy and give a quintessential summer sound. The larvae feed on aphids on the leaves of bushes and shrubs.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread throughout Britain. All three common species can be found at Netherfield Lagoons and all three are common in Nottinghamshire.

Best time to see

March to November.