Rotjes, happy New Year


During summer and early autumn flowers are full of Syrphid flies. Many people think they are bees. But they have just one pair of wings, not two as in bees. Despite their large eyes they are called Blind bees. “Blind” means in this case stingless. The flies deposit their eggs in the autumn in mudpools, polluted ponds and waste pipes.


The Dutch name is “Doodskopvlieg”, literally skull fly after the drawing of a skull on the pronotum.

De Nederlandse naam voor deze zweefvlieg is doodshoofdzweefvlieg, naar de tekening op het halsschild.

The larvae reach a length of three centimeter. They are connected with the outer world via a long extension breathing pipe that reaches a length of fifteen centimeters. That makes it possible for them to live surroundings that lack oxygen. Because of their resemblance to a piece of firework the Dutch name them “rotje”. At the end of the breathing pipe there are water-repellant hairs that help in making the connection with the air.


Eristalis larve

“Firecracker” or rattail, is named after its long telescopic breathing pipe that acts like a snorkel. You can see two rings with longer hairs indicating where, dependant on the water depth, the length of the snorkel can be changed. Foto’s AvBH

The larvae feed by seeving mud. After pupation the adult flies emerge in the spring.


One Response to Rotjes, happy New Year

  • Carel Wiemers says:

    Arno, bedankt voor de ‘Nieuwjaarscracker’. Leuke plaatjes en interessante verhaaltjes in de Wijde Wereld. Fantastisch dat je dit allemaal doet. Ik hoop dat je veel kijkers trekt. Hartelijke groet,


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