The Footballer
The Footballer

A hand coloured etching of a hoverfly - The Footballer, Helophilus pendulus.

The fly’s common name comes from the bold stripy shirt it wears on its back. This particular one landed right in front of me while I was exploring some gorse bushes with my camera on the Isle of Arran. It kindly basked in the sunshine patiently while I took its portrait from several angles, and appeared to live up to its other common name, The Sun Fly. That name, however, is apparently based on a misreading of its scientific genus: Helophilus means “marsh lover” and not “sun lover” (which would be Heliophilus with an extra i in the middle).

Oblivious to such linguistic pedantry itself, The Footballer is widespread and common across Britain and northern Europe. It’s quite large for a hoverfly, and should be easy to spot on sunny days, basking on vegetation or sipping nectar from flowers near to bodies of water.

Artwork details

Title: The Footballer
Year: 2022
Medium: Etching with aquatint and watercolour
Paper: Hahnemühle Etching White 300 gsm
Paper size: 34 x 29 cm
Plate size: 26 x 21 cm
Edition size: 20
Price (unframed): £200.00
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