An “uncommon” visitor

This striking  species of hoverfly (Chrysotoxum festivum)  has been identified as being quite rare in the north of England – so I feel quite privileged to receive a visit from such an “uncommon” visitor !  Apparently, this particular species seems to prefer to lay its eggs in or around ants nests in order that their emerging larvae can  then feed on the “root aphids” which are themselves associated with the ants. Ants  have been known to bring aphids to their nests in order to “farm” them for their sticky sweet honeydew, which they enjoy feeding on. The more I research and find out about  the wildlife visiting my balcony the more amazed  I am at the complex interconnectedness each and every living thing has with one another.  The fact that we often lose sight of this truth perhaps tells us why we are facing so many serious ecological  disasters, today.

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