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Milesia are very large hoverflies that mimic social wasps. The species discussed in this chapter, M. crabroniformis, is a convincing mimic of the hornet. According to Speight, the buzzing sound it emits in flight is very similar to that made by the hornet. They live in deciduous forests with running water. Adults tend to dwell in the crowns of the trees, descending to feed or drink. They will follow streams out of the forest, where they visit flowers (especially flowers of Sambucus edulis, W. van Steenis, pers. comm.) or bask on leaves. The larvae are associated with trees, presumably living in rot holes and tree humus. Myathropa frequent forest edges. They can be found visiting flowers of shrubs and herbs, often aggressively chasing away other hoverflies as if to defend their food source.

Keywords: hornet; M. crabroniformis; Milesia; Sambucus edulis; tree humus



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