Hoverflies (Family Syrphidae)

Biology

Episyrphus viridaureus Episyrphus viridaureus larva eating an aphid

Episyrphus viridaureus Episyrphus viridaureus adult Ischiodon scutellaris Ischiodon scutellaris

Adult hoverflies are masters of flight and can hover motionless in one spot; visiting flowers to drink nectar.

Several species are common in weedy areas, roadsides and gardens.

Some larvae feed on aphids and other sap-sucking plant bugs. Others are saprophagous, feeding on decaying matter, while some are predacious in ant and bee nests.

Identification

Length 7-10 mm. The body, especially the abdomen, usually has a bold pattern of black and yellow or orange patches or bands. They can be very wasp-like in appearance but usually have very short antennae. The large eyes frequently make up most of the head. The aphid feeding larvae are transparent maggots with white or greenish streaks and dark markings. Hoverflies belong to the Family Syrphidae.

 

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