Poppy visitor - Eupeodes volucris
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Los Angeles County, California, USA
January 11, 2006
This poppy blossom is one of the very first that are blooming so far this year at the Reserve. I observed this flower fly (?) visiting the blossom in the early afternoon of a warm, sunny day with a mild northeast wind.
It was very persistent. As I moved my camera in for a close up shot, it would leave the blossom and hover a few inches away until I removed the camera and then it would quickly return to the blossom. It seemed to be spooked when the shadow of the camera covered it. We did this dance several times before I was able to position the camera so its shadow was not interfering.
I have done some internet searching of Syrphid flies and the closest match I found to this pattern was the Eupeodes luniger but even that species seems to have wider color bands, especially the aft bands, and its yellow band color appears to be more intense.