Europe, North Asia and North Africa
Marmalade hoverflies are one of the smallest (0.9 – 1.2cm), yet most commonly seen hoverflies in the UK. With black and orange stripes, the adults resemble wasps, but they do not sting. As their name suggests, they are masters of hovering and are often seen hovering in front of flowering plants. The larvae are leech-like in appearance and can vary in colour from light brown to dark green.
Adult hoverflies feed on flower nectar and help pollinate some crops, but it is the larvae that are important predators in the garden. The eggs hatch into larvae that will voraciously feed on aphids and help to control their numbers.
Food and Habitat:
Adults feed on nectar and pollen. Yellow flowering plants or flowers with bright yellow pollen such as lilies are particularly attractive to marmalade hoverflies. Hoverfly larvae feed on aphids. Marmalade hoverflies can be found wherever flowering plants are present.
Grow plenty of flowers to attract hoverflies to your garden. Adult hoverflies favour plants that produce high levels of nectar and pollen, particularly those that have yellow flowers or produce large amounts of yellow pollen. Tolerate small aphid outbreaks in spring to help support a thriving summer population of hoverflies.