identify hornet-like insect of greek island Samos

Pierre Zagatti Pierre.Zagatti at
Fri May 30 03:37:03 EDT 1997

In article <01bc6998$a4133940$0100007f at volkerkn>, "Volker Knierim"
<101526.2500 at> says:
>my question may not fit exactly into this newsgroup, but there aren't
>many NGs, concerning insects,- so I apologize for annoyance.
>It would be gracious, if someone could help me identify an insect, I
>observed several times on Samos (Greece) this month. I couldn't take
>a picture, so here is my incomplete description.
>What: coloured similar to a hornet, approximately same size or even
>Wings transparent, I couldn't see, if there's colour at the edges, wings
>possibly shorter than abdomen. In quiet, the wings of the insect were
>like the ones of Symphyta-wasps, not folded.
>When: Mid May, time of activity: midday in full sunshine.
>Where: Samos, phrygana at the eastern coast.
>Activity: collecting nectar or pollen from cistus specs., good and fast
>The sound while flying is similar to hornet-sound, but deeper buzzing.
>If someone can help, please answer to this newsgroup or email directly
>101526.2500 at (Volker Knierim).
>Thanx a lot.

How many wings ?
The behaviour seems to indicate a "hornet fly" (my translation of
the french name): Milesia crabroniformis, Diptera: Syrphidae.
A nice and rather uncommon insect in Northern Europe, more
common in the south.

Pierre Zagatti
INRA Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
zagatti at

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