Pine Hoverfly (Blera fallax)
Fineliner, watercolour, pencil and gouache.
The pine hoverfly is arguably the most endangered hoverfly in the UK. Population numbers have taken a dramatic drop since the 1940s and can now only be found in Strathspey, Scotland. In order for pine hoverflies to breed, they require rotting tree stumps of a certain size to lay their eggs in. These types of conditions are becoming harder to find as the felling of our pinewoods and forests increases. As a result, trees are not being given enough time to grow to reach the size needed or allowed to rot. This story can be seen in other areas of Europe where the pine hoverfly numbers are also struggling.
In Scotland, the hoverfly has been given priority status and conservation efforts are underway to try and replicate breeding conditions in key sites artificially. This involves cutting holes in stumps and filling them with various materials such as woodchip.
As part of my ‘Insectarium’ collection, I wanted to illustrate this wonderful little hoverfly in a natural setting and shine a light on the increasing pressure our insect populations are under.
prints will be available soon!*