Introduction to Hoverflies

With lots of interest in pollinators at the moment I have been running a course on hoverflies for a number of years.

The course will appeal to those who are interested in these important pollinators but never quite got around to having a detailed look at them. It is suitable for adult beginners. No previous experience is necessary.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session you should be able to:

  • Recognise a hoverfly
  • Understand their morphology
  • Identify the commonly occurring local species
  • Understand their lifecycle
  • Explore their ecology and habitat requirements

Structure of the Day

  • Morphology (indoor)
  • Ecology and behaviour (indoor)
  • Lunch
  • Catching, collecting and field craft (outdoor)
  • Identification (indoor)


The best time of year to hold this course is May to August.

The course would usually run from 10am to 4pm but can easily start earlier and finish later.


We are totally dependent on what the weather does. If the weather is poor the order of activities on the day will change. We will get out into the field when we can or use specimens.

Cost breakdown

  • Session charge – £50 for a morning or afternoon (£100 a day)
  • Cost of venue and equipment hire, if needed
  • Tutor travel costs

Students Numbers

The maximum number of students is 8 but fewer is preferable so everyone can get help and support. There is no minimum number.

What to bring

As you will be outdoors for at least part of the day you will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing, stout footwear and bring a packed lunch, drinks and snacks. It’s advisable to wear insect repellent and maybe sun screen and a hat. You may also like to bring a notebook, pencil and a camera.