Is this a Ferdinandea cuprea female?

Found on 8th August in my Leicestershire garden.


Approx. 10mm long.  Various characteristics seem to fit with F. cuprea rather than F. ruficornis, but I'm not sure whether there have been any recent 'confusion species' arrivals from Europe. I would be grateful for comments.






Hello Kate,

It looks like a correct ID to me from your pics.

I recorded this specices quite regularly on the Isle of Mull years ago when I lived there, I am now in Perthshire and have only had a single specimen in over twenty years, and that was this year in a malaise trap. Nice hoverfly

Boyd Barr

Hello Kate,

Forgot to mention in last post regarding 'recent arrivals'. Having checked in my small library.... M.P.Van Veen (Hoverflies of N.W. Europe ) Only lists F.Cuprea and Ruficornis.

Ball & Morris, as well as Stubbs again only list those two species The Swedish publication Tvavingar: Blomflugor  only cite the same, as does De Meutter (Velgids Zweefvliegen).

However, as you would expect, Verrall mentions a third species known as aurea and quotes only known from Italy. The pics that you post do show the strong dark 'bristles on the thorax and the apparent 'brassy' sheen of the abdomen look very convincing.

Boyd Barr

Hello Boyd. Many thanks for your comments.


I did check in Ball and Morris, plus Steven Falk's website, but am always wary of 'new' confusion species that have not yet made into authoritative publications and websites.  I'm therefore not suprised there's a third species to consider, but I've just found a paper on ResearchGate (from 2010) that details "all the four species recorded in the Palaearctic region"   - and makes reference to F. fumipennis too.  The paper includes a key to the adults of the Iberian species of Ferdinandea, so I'll try to get to know the genus a little better and hope to see more of these lovely flies.  


Hello Kate,

How interesting, it appears that you hunches are correct!

Unable to find that paper on ResearchGate, but did look at records for F. fumipennis on Gbif. Looks like a very south European distribution including Portugal, Spain France Etc you , with current trends of North migration due to warmer temperatures we should certainly be on the look out for other species. F. ruficornis is a magnificent Syrphid, and as quoted in the literature ( Stubb's & Falk and other) perhaps frequents the tree canopy, what a niche yet to be really examined!