Species details

Myathropa florea (Linnaeus, 1758)


Myiatropa florea Linnaeus in Coe (1953). Known as the "Batman fly" because the shape of the black marking on the rear half of the thorax resembles the Batman logo.


This is the most abundant and least choosy of the hoverflies associated with decaying wood. The larva, which is of the "long-tailed", aquatic type, occurs in any situation with wet wood debris, typically, water-filled tree hollows containing decaying leaf and wood detritus, and decaying roots deep underground. They will develop in compost and cow-dung. They will readily use artificial breeding sites consisting of containers of water mixed with rotted sawdust or woodland litter. Adults disperse widely and visit a variety of flowers. Males hover in the canopy, making a loud high pitched buzz. They are often seen in gardens.


Common and widely distributed across lowland Britain but markedly less common in upland areas.