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Hoverfly (M scalare)

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

A common but tiny hoverfly found in lowland woods in spring



  • Hoverfly: Melanostoma scalare

    Post date: Monday, 20 April, 2015 - 00:00

    I have identified this species as Melanostoma scalare but, in truth, distinguishing it from Melanostmoa mellinum is very difficult. However, as Melanostoma scalare is more common in lowland areas and mellinum more abundant in uplands and moors, I have chosen Melanostoma scalare as being the most probable choice of the two. 

    Both are grassland species and can be abundant where they occur but, again, Melanostoma scalare is more inclined to woodland than Melanostoma mellinum which adds weight to my diagnosis! Melanostoma scalare is also more common in the spring so that just about convinces me because I took this photograph in Ashmore Wood, Dorset, in April.

    These are very small hoverflies, looking like small black marks on the flowers they are feeding on. The magnification the camera can bring reveals their true appearance and beauty. Such delicate little creatures, complete in every respect.


Common Name Hoverfly (M scalare)
Scientific Name Melanostoma scalare
Species Group Hover flies
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Similar Species

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Hover flies