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Drone fly - Eristalis pertinax - male
Drone fly - Eristalis pertinax - male

Drone fly - Eristalis pertinax
The drone fly - Eristalis (Eoseristalis) pertinax - is a species in the order two-winged flies (Diptera), the suborder Brachycera, the infraorder Muscomorpha (section Aschiza), the superfamily Syrphoidea, the family hoverflies (Syrphidae), the subfamily Milesiinae, the tribe Eristalini, the genus Eristalis and the subgenus Eristalis (Eoseristalis). This species is widespread and common in Europe, parts of North Africa and North Asia.
Hoverfly - Drone fly
Hoverfly - Drone fly
Adult Eristalis (Eoseristalis) pertinax reach body lengths of 11 - 16 mm. Their bodies have a black base colour. The thorax is uniformly black in colour. In the males the entire abdomen is wedge-shaped and almost black in colour, with reddish-yellow markings on the second segment which do not extend onto neighbouring segments (as is the case in other Eristalis species). These markings have yellowish-brown hair. In the females the markings on the 2nd abdominal segment are hard to make out because they are very indistinct. The brownish, feathery bristles on the antennae are a striking feature of the drone fly. The compound eyes are unusually large and touch in the males. The front legs of the drone fly are mostly reddish-yellow;the hind legs are on the whole much darker.
Diptera - fly - Drone fly
Diptera - fly - Drone fly
The wings are transparent, sometimes with a brownish tint in the centre, and reach the end of the abdomen in resting position. The venation of the wings is clearly visible.
Drone flies are commonly encountered everywhere from March to November. Their preferred habitats include open countryside, forest edges, parks and gardens. They are very often found on plants of the parsley family, and may appear there en masse especially in midsummer. They feed on the nectar of flowers, which they suck out with their proboscises, as well as on pollen, which they crush with their mouthparts.
The females lay their eggs in muddy, often heavily polluted, stagnant water (for example, cesspools, septic tanks or clarifiers). The larvae hatch after a few days. The larvae breathe through a "snorkel", which is attached to the tip of the abdomen and runs up to the surface of the water, hence the name rat-tailed maggots. The larvae can reach lengths of 20 mm and feed on putrid sludge and dead organic matter, which they filter from the water. They make an important contribution to water clarification.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Drone fly - Eristalis pertinax - male
2. Hoverfly - Drone fly
3. Diptera - fly - Drone fly
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