Marmalade Fly

Episyrphus balteatus

About

The Marmalade Fly is very common hoverfly. Adults are on the wing right through the year, although in largest numbers in the summer. They feed on nectar, often gathering in very large numbers on flowers like tansy, ragwort and cow parsley. The larvae are predators of aphids. As well as being a common breeding fly, in some years, huge numbers migrate here from the continent when they can be seen busily feeding on flowers near the coast.

How to identify

The Marmalade Fly is our commonest and most familiar hoverfly, easily identifiable by the orange body with thick and thin black bands across it.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Marmalade Fly larvae feed on aphid-pests and the adults are good pollinators, so they should be welcomed by the gardener. Encourage them into your garden by planting nectar-rich borders in which the adults can feed. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Marmalade Fly
Latin name
Episyrphus balteatus
Category
Invertebrates
Flies
Statistics
Body length: 0.9-1.2cm
Conservation status
Common.