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Early in season - Myathropa florea - male

Early in season - Myathropa florea - Male
Alameda County, California, USA
April 1, 2010
Size: Honeybee size, plus
I believe this is Eristalis tenax. I haven't seen many species of syrphids yet this year. This one's earlier than most. Sitting on a Meyer-lemon leaf, morning. Not measured; slightly larger than an Apis mellifera worker.

Moved from Drone Fly.

Myathropa florea
This is a Myathropa florea like mine:

See the skull or "Batman" symbol on the thorax.

They just showed up in the USA in 2005. See all the commotion at:

Martin Hauser is writing a paper on it. I will email him about your find :)

I wonder how many of these are misidentified as E. tenax. They look so similar. I'll watch for competition as plants come into bloom that E. tenax visits.

This is the second species for which the first sighting/posting of the year took place in Fremont and I saw a specimen a week later. The other was anise swallowtail. One was paying great attention to our parsley, and yesterday I found two eggs on the leaves. I'm a few miles north of you. I guess they spread up the Bay as the weather warms up.

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