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

Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege Sun Fly

Synonyms and other combinations:

Helophilus similis Curtis, 1832 | Musca trelineata Harris, 1782 | Musca trileniata Harris, 1780 | Musca trilenva Harris, 1776 | Musca trilineata Harris, 1776 | Syrphus praecox Rossi, 1790 |

  • Helophilus pendulus, female  568
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2007-08-04 12:02:53
    Image number: 568
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2007-08-04 12:02:53

  • Helophilus pendulus  574
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2007-05-29 14:26:17
    Image number: 574

    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2007-05-29 14:26:17

  • Helophilus pendulus, mating  573
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2005-09-18 13:05:38
    Image number: 573
    mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2005-09-18 13:05:38

  • Helophilus pendulus, mating  9661
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite; 2020-08-31 13:54:47
    Image number: 9661
    mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite
    2020-08-31 13:54:47

  • Helophilus pendulus, mating  9662
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite; 2020-08-31 13:55:05
    Image number: 9662
    mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite
    2020-08-31 13:55:05

  • Helophilus pendulus, mating  9663
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite; 2020-08-31 13:55:09
    Image number: 9663
    mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite
    2020-08-31 13:55:09

  • Helophilus pendulus, male  9958
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2021-05-22 13:59:57
    Image number: 9958
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2021-05-22 13:59:57

  • Helophilus pendulus, female  9956
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2021-05-22 14:08:14
    Image number: 9956
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2021-05-22 14:08:14

  • Helophilus pendulus, female  9957
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2021-05-22 14:08:29
    Image number: 9957
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2021-05-22 14:08:29

  • Helophilus pendulus, female  9664
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite; 2020-08-31 13:58:19
    Image number: 9664
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Morgenleite
    2020-08-31 13:58:19

  • Helophilus pendulus, female  8066
    Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gemeine Sumpfschwebfliege  Sun Fly 
    Helophilus pendulus, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark; 2017-06-12 14:55:22
    Image number: 8066
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark
    2017-06-12 14:55:22


Classification:
Helophilus pendulus belongs to the subfamily Eristalinae, tribe Eristalini.
Distribution:
From Iceland, Fennoscandia and the Faroes south to Iberia; from Ireland eastwards through central and southern Eurasia to the Pacific coast; more localised in southern Europe.
Habitat:
Various habitats, with a preference for sheltered places in moist grasslands.
Description:
Helophilus pendulus has a body length of 10 - 14 mm. The eyes are bald. The face has a wide, bare black central strip. The antennae are black, the third antenna segment is longer than it is wide. The hind margins of the abdomen segments 2 and 3 are narrow yellow. The hind femora are at the top to 1/3 and the hind tibia at the base half to 2/3 yellow red.
Biology:
Helophilus pendulus flies in 2 generations from April to September.
The larvae are not picky. They live in standing water of ponds, canals, wet ditches, open tree hollows, cow-dung, wet compost heaps and slurry pits. The larvae are called rat-tailed maggots, because they have at their posterior end a three-segmented extendable breathing siphon that allows them to breathe in an oxygen-deficient environment.

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 www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2017. Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.
  2. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschl├╝ssel f├╝r die Schwebfliegen (Diptera, Syrphidae) Deutschlands und der Niederlande, DJN, 1984, ISBN 3-923376-07-3
  3. 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.
  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.