Syrphid Flies (Flower/Hover Flies)

Syrphid flies (Family Syrphidae) are also known as flower flies or hover flies because they visit flowers to feed on nectar and pollen, often hovering in place while doing so.  The adult flies are not predaceous, but many species of syrphid fly larvae are, preying on plant-sucking insects such as aphids, scale insects and thrips.  The larvae of some other species feed on decaying plant and animal matter.  Syrphid flies are therefore beneficial.  Predaceous species of syrphid fly larvae help to suppress aphid infestations, as each larva is capable of consuming hundreds of aphids during its larval development.

Many syrphid flies exhibit Batesian mimicry by impersonating bees and wasps, such as those belonging to the genera Syrphus and Helophilus, to name but a few.

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