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

Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege Large Hoverfly

Synonyms and other combinations:

Conops trifasciatus Scopoli, 1763 | Musca annulata Harris, 1776 | Musca annulatus Harris, 1776 | Syrphus micans Fabricius, 1794 |

  • Volucella inanis, female  471
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2005-08-06 14:13:50
    Image number: 471
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2005-08-06 14:13:50

  • Volucella inanis, female  473
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2005-08-06 14:14:41
    Image number: 473
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2005-08-06 14:14:41

  • Volucella inanis, female  474
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2005-08-06 14:15:12
    Image number: 474
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2005-08-06 14:15:12

  • Volucella inanis, female  472
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2006-08-12 12:27:07
    Image number: 472
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2006-08-12 12:27:07

  • Volucella inanis, female  481
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2006-08-12 12:12:20
    Image number: 481
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2006-08-12 12:12:20

  • Volucella inanis, female  9637
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2020-08-19 14:00:08
    Image number: 9637
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2020-08-19 14:00:08

  • Volucella inanis, female  9638
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2020-08-19 14:00:25
    Image number: 9638
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2020-08-19 14:00:25

  • Volucella inanis, female  9639
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2020-08-19 14:00:42
    Image number: 9639
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2020-08-19 14:00:42

  • Volucella inanis, male  4781
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2011-07-23 11:02:45
    Image number: 4781
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2011-07-23 11:02:45

  • Volucella inanis, male  478
    Volucella inanis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gebänderte Waldschwebfliege  Large Hoverfly 
    Volucella inanis, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2007-08-04 12:21:08
    Image number: 478
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2007-08-04 12:21:08


Classification:
Volucella inanis belongs to the subfamily Eristalinae, tribe Volucellini.
Distribution:
From southern Fennoscandia south to Spain and the Mediterranean (including islands), North Africa and Asia Minor (Syria); from Britain (southern England) eastwards through central and southern Europe into Turkey and European parts of Russia and on through Siberia to the Pacific; Afghanistan, Mongolia, China.
Habitat:
Forest: Open areas in various types of deciduous forest, forest edges.
Description:
Body length 14 - 17 mm; thorax dull, mostly black; scutellum with long black bristles; abdomen black with reddish yellow horizontal stripes on tergits 2 - 4, tergit 4 with a narrow black posterior margin; wings entirely covered in microtrichia.
Biology:
The Large Hoverfly Volucella inanis flies in one generation from May to September. This is a strongly migrational species. The adults visit the flowers of umbelliferae, blackberries, thistles (Cirsium), elder, goldenrod, valerian, butterfly bush ...
The males hover in open areas several meters above the ground.
After mating, Volucella inanis females lay their eggs a few centimeters away from the entrance of a wasp nest without entering the nest. If a female does not pay attention and comes in contact with the wasps it is stabbed by these. Overall, a female of Volucella inanis produces about 300 eggs. About five days after oviposition, the larvae hatch. These belong to the ectoparasitoids. They move into the host's nest and invade a cell with a living wasp larva. In the 1st and 2nd larval stage, the hoverfly larvae probably feed on excretions of the wasp larva. In the last larval stage, when the wasp larva has spun its cocoon, the hoverfly larvae breaks it up and sucks out the wasp larva. Later, the larva of Volucella inanis leaves the wasp nest to pupate underneath in the ground.
Well-known hosts of the species are Vespula germanica, Vespula vulgaris and Vespa crabro. Above-ground nests are preferred.

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: Bestimmungsschlüssel für 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.
  5. Speight, M.C.D. & Sarthou, J.-P. (2014) StN keys for the identification of the European species of various genera of Syrphidae (Diptera) 2014 / Clés StN pour la détermination des espèces Européennes de plusieurs genres des Syrphidae (Diptères) 2014. Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, Vol. 80, 125 pp, Syrph the Net publications, Dublin
  6. 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