Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Diptera (True flies) ➔ Family Syrphidae (Hoverflies)

Epistrophe eligans (Harris, 1780)


Synonyms and other combinations:

Musca elegans Harris, 1782 | Musca interruptus Gmelin, 1790 | Scaeva fenestrata Meigen, 1822 | Scaeva volitans Gravenhorst, 1807 | Syrphus bifasciatus Fabricius, 1794 | Syrphus fulvipes Wiedemann, 1822 | Syrphus trifasciatus Strobl, 1898 |

  • Epistrophe eligans, female  9954
    Epistrophe eligans (Harris, 1780)  Zweiband-Wiesenschwebfliege   
    Epistrophe eligans, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2021-05-24 13:50:26
    Image number: 9954
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2021-05-24 13:50:26

  • Epistrophe eligans, female  9955
    Epistrophe eligans (Harris, 1780)  Zweiband-Wiesenschwebfliege   
    Epistrophe eligans, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2021-05-24 13:50:30
    Image number: 9955
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2021-05-24 13:50:30

  • Epistrophe eligans, female  523
    Epistrophe eligans (Harris, 1780)  Zweiband-Wiesenschwebfliege   
    Epistrophe eligans, female
    DE, Chemnitz; 2004-05-15 09:21:16
    Image number: 523
    DE, Chemnitz
    2004-05-15 09:21:16

  • Epistrophe eligans, male  615
    Epistrophe eligans (Harris, 1780)  Zweiband-Wiesenschwebfliege   
    Epistrophe eligans, male
    DE, Chemnitz; 2004-05-08 10:38:59
    Image number: 615
    DE, Chemnitz
    2004-05-08 10:38:59

Epistrophe eligans belongs to the subfamily Syrphinae, tribe Syrphini.
Southern Sweden southwards to Iberia; from Ireland eastwards through central and southern Europe into Turkey and European parts of Russia as far as the Caucasus.
Deciduous forests, forest edges, parks, gardens - in places with trees and shrubs in combination with open areas.
Epistrophe eligans has a body length of 9 - 12 mm, a coppery shining thorax and bald eyes. The yellow part on the abdomen may vary in size. The males have 2 yellow spots on segment 2 and a narrow yellow (sometimes interrupted) band on the front edge of segment 3. The females have larger yellow spots on segment 2, which is often almost completely yellow. The 4th segment is usually completely black in both sexes.
Epistrophe eligans flies in one generation from April to June. Adults are flower visitors. The females lay their eggs preferably in a few meters height in aphid colonies on various tree and shrub species.
The larvae are aphid hunters. They live mostly on trees and shrubs, sometimes on herbaceous plants. They are well adapted to their environment by their greenish color. The larvae are resistant to drought. They usually feed in the evening and at night. After about 3 weeks the larvae are fully grown and start with the long diapause characteristic for the species, that means they spend the summer and the following winter in the litter layer. In the spring, the larvae pupate. After 2 - 3 weeks the new generation of Epistrophe eligans hatches.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Pape T. & Thompson F.C. (eds) (2017). Systema Dipterorum (version 2.0, Jan 2011). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2017 Annual Checklist (Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds.). Digital resource at Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.
  2. M.C.D.Speight: Species Accounts of European Syrphidae (Diptera), Glasgow 2011, Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, vol. 65, 285 pp., Syrph the Net publications, Dublin.
  3. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschl├╝ssel f├╝r die Schwebfliegen (Diptera, Syrphidae) Deutschlands und der Niederlande, DJN, 1984, ISBN 3-923376-07-3
  4. Menno Reemer, Willem Renema, Wouter van Steenis, Theo Zeegers, Aat Barendregt, John T. Smit, Mark P. van Veen, Jeroen van Steenis, Laurens van der Leij: De Nederlandse Zweefvliegen (Diptera: Syrphidae), Nederlandse Fauna 8, 2009.
  5. Graham E. Rotheray: Colour Guide to Hoverfly Larvae (Diptera, Syrphidae) in Britain and Europe, Dipterists Digest No.9, 1993, Derek Whiteley, Sheffield, England, ISSN 0853 7260