Four-Spotted Aphid Fly

This lovely little syrphid fly, with the distinctive white spots on a dark abdomen, has a couple of common names: four-spotted hover fly, four-speckled aphid fly, and various combinations thereof. Its Latin name is Dioprosopa clavata.

Its body shape and coloration somewhat mimic that of a wasp, but this fly is harmless to humans and can actually be helpful: its larvae eat pests like aphids (hence the name).

I don’t know what prompted this individual to sit perfectly still (rather than become a rapidly diminishing speck in the distance) for a couple of photos, but I am grateful.

Identified via the kind folks at iNaturalist.

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