The Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) is one of our largest and most spectacular hoverflies, measuring around 2cm long. Though fearsome-looking, it is completely harmless. It is a mimic of the European Hornet (Vespa crabro), right down to its broad abdominal stripes, large eyes, brown markings and tawny wing veins. It is also known to have wasp-like markings that are invisible to the human eye, but can be seen be the ultra-violet-sensitive eyes of insects. It uses its camouflage to gain entry to the nests of social wasps and hornets undetected, where it lays its eggs. The hoverfly larvae feed in the detritus in the nest. Adults can be seen from mid-summer, feeding on a range of flowers in woodland, meadows, parks and gardens, wherever there are good nectar sources.

Below is guide on how to identify the Hornet Hoverfly, and how you can easily distinguish it from the European Hornet:
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