Hoverflies and Forgotten Habitats

Project 2

Artist – Professor Andrea Liggins;

Scientist – Andrew Lucas



Andrea Liggins and Andrew Lucas explored their combined research in the creation of photographic artworks that promote the often forgotten and neglected habitats of the hoverfly. To plan for the art project two sites were visited on a wet and cold day, more like November than July, a day when all the hoverflies were sheltering in among the thickets of brambles. Andrew works for Natural Resources Wales and his doctorate research is focussed upon the habitats suited to hoverflies, using DNA Barcoding (with Dr Natasha de Vere of the National Botanic Garden of Wales) he is investigating the flower preferences of the different species of hoverfly at several sites across South West Wales. Andrea’s research identifies those non-picturesque landscapes that are not usually painted or drawn but are so important environmentally, for example the hedgerows, the lowland peat–bogs and flowering pastures. Her quest has been to find ways of photographing such places to show their beauty and value. Andrea’s previous photography shows a landscape to look out from – not at, and is not about what a place looks like but what it feels to be immersed within the undergrowth. Her work celebrates the messiness of nature, its clutter and unpredictability, well suited to the habitat that hoverflies are drawn to.


There are over 250 species of hoverfly in the UK, many pass by unnoticed and are given very little thought or value, by most people. However, research shows that hoverflies are very important to pollination. To explore their variety and individuality Andrea has produced photographic portraits of hoverfly faces, which she is exhibiting next to photographs of the landscapes in which they have been found.