Every so often something in the natural world makes you stop and look twice. Sometimes it turns out to be something pretty normal, other times it turns out to be a little more unusual. Today it was the turn of a ‘fly’ to make me stop and look. It wasn’t a particularly large beastie but it was quite striking nonetheless. It had the look of something that might bite or sting with features more similar to a wasp than a fly. Indeed, careful observation showed that it had 4 wings not two, so that ruled it out being a true fly and made it more likely to fit in with the bees and wasps.
It was narrowed down to being a sawfly and eventually to being a honeysuckle sawfly (Zaraea fasciata); it was sitting by the path directly under a honeysuckle on which the larvae feed. It appears to be a relatively uncommon species although it could be more a problem of poor recording – invertebrates (apart from butterflies and dragonflies) are generally poorly recorded as they are somewhat tricky to identify accurately!