We tested the prediction that, if hoverflies are Batesian mimics, this may extend to behavioral mimicry such that their numerical abundance at each hour of the day (the daily activity pattern) is related to the numbers of their hymenopteran models. After accounting for site, season, microclimatic responses, and general hoverfly abundance at three sites in northwestern England, the residual numbers of mimics were significantly correlated positively with their models nine times of 17. Sixteen of 17 relationships were positive, itself a highly significant nonrandom pattern. Several eristaline flies showed significant relationships with honeybees even though some of them mimic wasps or bumblebees, perhaps reflecting an ancestral resemblance to honeybees. There was no evidence that good and poor mimics differed in their daily activity pattern relationships with models. However, the common mimics showed significant activity pattern relationships with their models, whereas the rarer mimics did not. We conclude that many hoverflies show behavioral mimicry of their hymenopteran models.
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Vol. 58 • No. 2