Hoverfly on an Asiatic Dayflower

Commelina communis is the latin name of the flower, but I’m uncertain of the insect. My guess is a Hoverfly. I know it’s not a common “yellowjacket” but whatever it is, I liked the contrast of the yellow with the blue. This was taken a few years ago and was recently rediscovered.

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DSC_0181.NEF (27.6 MB)

[DSC_0181_01|690x862]DSC_0181.NEF.xmp DSC_0181_01.NEF.xmp (19.1 KB)


Very nice shot! Thanks for sharing.

Edit in darktable 3.4 plus some sharpening in GIMP.

DSC_0181.NEF.xmp (11.0 KB)


And because @sls141 always tries b&w, here also my try (also sharpened with GIMP).

DSC_0181.NEF.xmp (13.2 KB)

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My first try

DSC_0181_01.NEF.xmp (28.4 KB)


hoverfly.on.dayflower.pp3 (15.9 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 (Development)

Thanks for sharing.


Have you included the correct XMPs please ?

The RAW file is filename 0181 and the XMPs are filename 0552 when I would expect them to be the same.

I ask as I’ve loaded the XMPs for 0552 and get a totally different crop to your image in this post.

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@Phil_Smith Good catch. I dragged & dropped the wrong file. :crazy_face:

@Thomas_Do One of the things I struggled with was the crop. I was tempted to go square but that seemed too “instagramish.” I think I like this one the best!

The insect looks like a wasp, but I’m not sure either.
Since the supposed wasp is out of focus, I have given the body more local adjustment sharpness.
Thanks for sharing
RT 5.8 dev.

20210321_DSC_0181.jpg.out.pp3 (16.1 KB)

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I love wildlife images.

darktable 3.4.1

DSC_0181.NEF.xmp (10.8 KB)

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@arturoisilvia I think this is it?

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I’m not an expert on insects, but I see a difference: The insect here has a sting in its tail. In the fly that imitates no. :thinking:

@arturoisilvia I see your point. All I can say is that this bug is about half the size of the common yellowjacket. I’ve been stung by them more than once in my days here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Admittedly, I didn’t do any extensive research. I just searched images of “yellow and black flying insects.” :confused:

A pointy tube coming out of its rear end can also be an egg laying tube (ovipositor) so not always a sting…


I live in the southeastern US, where yellowjacket wasps are common. The subject in this photo is not the wasp. I looked at the link given by @sls141, and I believe it shows the exact same insect as in the image, a “yellowjacket hoverfly”.

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@Tim @spidermonkey Thanks for the input. Not only is the insect here smaller than a yellowjacket, it’s back end seems to be almost flat on top, like a shield, not round or conical like the yellowjacket. But really, it’s not terribly important. I figured that since I posted this, I should attempt to provide an explanation of what it is, or at least, might be. :thinking:

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I would say the pointed end of the abdomen is not the same as what seems to be a «spike»: that would probably be just one leg, as the abdomen is more out of focus than the leg.

If that’s the case, it seems to be that the hoverfly is the eastern calligrapher, probably female. A better image can be found in this link (about 4 screens down).

To me, one key point when differentiating hoverflies vs wasps is how they place their wings when not flying: hoverflies always «seem to be a cross», while wasps fold wings up along their body.


@XavAL Thanks for the input. I agree that it seems to be a female hoverfly. I think we can close this investigation now. Thanks again! :smiley:

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It makes me happy to see the interest that people took in identifying the insect…


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