Hoverfly

Hoverfly

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hoverfly. Macrophotograph of a Melanostoma scalare hoverfly, feeding on pollen. The hoverfly is perched on an anther, the pollen sac of a plant's male sex organ (stamen). Although hoverflies are not pollinating insects, there is a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. Hoverfly larvae, the juvenile stage of its life cycle, feed on aphids that infest the plant. Hoverflies are named for their ability to hover in air by beating their wings rapidly. Its black and yellow stripes mimic the warning colours of a poisonous bee or wasp, which predators avoid. This type of mimicry is known as Batesian mimicry.

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Keywords: animal, anther, batesian mimicry, eat, eating, feed, feeding, flower, flowering, fly, hoverfly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, macrophotograph, melanostoma scalare, mimesis, mimic, nature, plant, pollen, pollinating, symbiant, symbiosis, symbiotic relationship, wildlife, zoology

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