HAVE you ever heard of the Marmalade hoverfly or the Batman hoverfly, which has the batman logo just behind its head?

Ross-on-Wye children have been learning all about these amazing insects who do a great job in our gardens cleaning up the pesky aphids..

Last month the Ross branch of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust attended local primary schools and informed them about the needs of nature.

The trust used pollinating insects and hoverflies in particular as one of its example. The children were told that hoverflies have a very short life-cycle, of around 12 to 55 days as an adult, one to two weeks as a larva or pupa, which means that they have to breed throughout the year.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We are all part of nature and dependent on it for our survival. It’s critical that the new generation growing up has a keen sense of this and of the simple but powerful things they and their parents can do to make better homes for nature.

“Any one of these students might take an active career interest in nature and wildlife and these are the citizen scientists of the future.

“We also want them to go home and with their parents make habitats there too so that the education goes live immediately rather than waiting for them to grow up. Hoverflies need homes now.

The children were also shown how to become citizen scientists and to send in their findings as they watch the development of the hoverflies through the various larval and pupal stages of the life cycle. The young students were left with a project to create a hoverfly lagoon.

They will be counting the larvae and pupae and registering their results with the Buzz Club survey which is used by scientists to better understand these fascinating creatures.

The trust spokesman added: “We've been focusing on years five and six and have found the students’ highly knowledgeable about the lifecycle of insects and were very keen to complete a project afterwards.

If you would like to find out more about our experience or replicate the activity in your area then get in touch via the Ross branch of the trust.