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This one made a summer night visit to the room and tried to escape by banging against the ceiling. What is it? I found nothing which corresponds, though "horse fly" might be a close match.

  • Location: Central Europe, Luxembourg
  • Locality: Where the suburb morphs into the not-yet-conquered countryside
  • Time: Late August, Nighttime
  • Weather: Quite warm (~27°C). Dry.

Here is an MP4 of the beast: https://i.imgur.com/F5yqMQ8.mp4

It is about 2 cm (0.8 inch) large. Relatively plump, keels over and likes to clean itself a lot.

unknown fly 1

Large head, large eyes, a bit hairy, two black stripes

unknown fly 2

Once it falls on its back it wallows a bit, there is clearly a probabilistic algorithm to get itself out of the predicament:

unknown fly, wallowing

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  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Thanks Bryan. I have added some info. And a link to an MP4 $\endgroup$ – David Tonhofer Aug 28 '19 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ Its not a horsefly (Tabanidae), but rather, a flower fly (Syrphidae). I don't know what species. $\endgroup$ – Karl Kjer Aug 28 '19 at 10:38
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At first, because of the size and shape, I thought that it was a horsefly, but no horsefly looks like that (at least not in Luxembourg). It turns out that it was a hoverfly, just as Karl Kjer said. The species is Volucella zonaria, or the hornet mimic hoverfly. This hoverfly lives in most of Europe (including Luxembourg) and is 15-25 mm in length, consistent with your 20 mm estimate.

In this image you can see the same coloration and abdominal markings as your insect.

enter image description here

The markings in your photo are very difficult to see but are there.

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Wikipedia page

original image source

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I had forgotten about that question. Good id. $\endgroup$ – David Tonhofer May 26 '20 at 6:13

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