Helophilus pendulus

Helophilus pendulus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Biology & ecology:

The larva is of the ?long-tailed? aquatic type and can be found in almost any enriched, wet or semi-liquid medium ranging from waterlogged, rotting vegetation at the edge of ponds and ditches to water-filled tree hollows, water-butts, wet compost heaps, slurry pits and even in cow-dung. Adults appear to be very mobile and can be found just about anywhere, frequently well away from water, and visiting a wide range of flowers from ground vegetation to tree-flowers. They are frequent visitors to garden flowers.


One of the commonest and most widespread British hoverflies. Speight (2010) describes it as anthropogenic and as a 'species which has become ubiquitous in some regions of Europe because of its ability to use a wide range of standing water and sub-aqueous habitats'.

Status & conservation:

The long term trend is upwards, but there are large variations in frequency of occurrence from year to year. Some of the upward trend may reflect increased recording by photographers.

Recorded from 2115 hectads since 1990.