The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Band-eyed Drone Fly

Afrikaans name: Sweefvlieg (Hover fly - if you have the correct name please let me know!)

Photo © Steven Herbert

Eristalinus taeniops

This little insect has the most amazing eyes which are barred in black and yellow! I really think that it is a cool look. I would love to know what the purpose of these bands.

The Band-eyed Drone Fly apparently prefers white and yellow flowers (which doesn't explain why I found my one on a pinkish-red flower). Although it looks like a bee this insect is harmless. It is actually a species of hoverfly.

The Band-eyed Drone Fly has one pair of wings. They are very capable flyers being capable of hovering or flying at speeds approaching 40 km/hour.

Amazingly this little creature is found across Africa and even in parts of Europe and Asia. It has been introduced into North America. In South Africa members of the genus Eristalinus can be found in all provinces except for the arid Northern Cape.

References and further reading

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 224

Remarkable Insects of South Africa - Author: Lambert Smith - Published: 2008 - Page: 28


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