Some of the big guns in the Fly world. They're big and they're ugly !
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Snipe Fly - Rhagio scolopacea
Often called the Down Looking Fly because it is unusual in that it often rests on tree trunks etc facing downwards. Having said that, like here, it is just as likely to be facing up!
Looks like something out of Alien to me
These are quite common in the garden and elsewhere and at a distance they just look like big bluebottle type flies but brownish. Close up you can see it is covered with spiky hairs making it look more intimidating than it really is.
They look Like Bumble Bees !
But they aren't.
Not only are these 2 not Bumble Bees, they are both the same species (but different variants)
This Hoverfly is a Bumble Bee mimic and comes in the 2 distinct varieties which closely resemble 2 different species of Bumble Bee. They live by scavenging in and around the nests of Bees and wasps and presumably this is why they have evolved this disguise.
However whilst they superficially resemble a Bumble Bee it is very easy to tell the difference by their flight characteristics as well as their facial looks and the fact that Bees have 2 pairs of wings and Hoverflies one pair!. So if I can tell the difference how come an actual Bumble Bee (or wasp) cannot. Makes you wonder.
Hoverfly - Volucella bombylans var. plumata
Hoverfly - Volucella bombylans var.bombylans