|Syrphid Fly – Eristalis sp.|
Order Diptera | Family Syrphidae – Flower Flies, Hover Flies
Flies Main | Flies Index | Tachinidae | Syrphidae | Bee Flies | Blow Flies | Flesh Flies
Live adult flies photographed at DuPage County, Illinois.
Flies in the Diptera family Syrphidae are commonly known as hoverflies, flower flies, or Syrphid flies. As their common names suggest, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects. Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year, and so aphid-feeding hover-flies are being recognized as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control. Some adult syrphid flies are important pollinators.
About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described. Hoverflies are common throughout the world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Flies of North America – Order Diptera. Flies are prevalent in virtually all habitats, with over 16,000 species in North America. Flies can be distinguished from all other insects in that they only have one pair of normal wings. Most flies have compound eyes and mouthparts adapted for piercing, lapping or sucking fluids.
Tachinidae | Flies Index | Tachinidae | Bee Flies | Robber Flies