|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2001|
|Authors:||Y. C. Golding, A. Ennos, R., Edmunds, M.|
|Journal:||The Journal of Experimental Biology|
is a Batesian mimic of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Previous work has established that the foraging behaviour ofdroneflies is more similar to that of its model than to that of other more closely related flies, suggesting that behaviour may be important in the mimicry. Locomotor mimicry has been demonstrated in mimetic Heliconius butterflies but not in hoverflies. This study therefore investigated aspects of the flight behaviour of Eristalis tenax, Apis mellifera and two other flies, Syrphus ribesii and a Musca sp. Insects were filmed foraging on Helichrysum bracteum flowers, and flight sequences were analysed to determine flight velocities, flight trajectories and the percentage of time spent hovering. It was found that the flight behaviour of droneflies was more similar to that of honeybees than to that of the other flies. This suggests that the flight behaviour of Eristalis tenax may be mimetic.