Archive for January, 2014

  • Syrphid Fly

    Jan 8, 14 • Jessica Walliser • Uncategorized2 CommentsRead More »
    Syrphid Fly

    With nearly 900 species found across North America, syrphid flies (also called hover or flower flies) are a very important group of insects. The adults are frequently found hovering around flowers on bright, sunny days. Syrphid flies are significant pollinators, consuming nectar, pollen, and honeydew. As with all true flies, they have one pair of wings and, although at first glance some species may look superficially like small bees or wasps, their wing count is an easy way to separate the two (both bees and wasps have two pairs of wings). Syrphid flies can hover in mid-flight—hence their other common name of hover fly. They are often brightly colored with stripes or other markings. Many species mimic bees in their coloration with various patterns of black and yellow, white and black, and occasionally grey or brown. Adults measure between 0.16–1 in. (4–25 mm) with the majority of species falling somewhere in the middle and only a few at the extremes. While the adults feed on flower products, their larvae are busy chowing down on various soft-bodied insects, including aphids, thrips, leafhoppers, scales, caterpillars and others. Members of the subfamily Syrphinae all have predaceous larvae (called maggots—they are flies after all) that are legless and measure between 0.04–0.5 in. (1–13 mm) in length. They taper to a point at the head end and range in color from green to creamy white or

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