Syrphid Fly
( Syrphidae )


2012-0407-01100112-DIP00464-Syrphidae[1124h30s,F,A,plant-flower]{JohnWaite}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
Flower Flies are also known as Hover Flies, because some hover around plants. The family is very bee-or wasp-like, even buzzing like bees or wasps. However, bees and wasps have two pairs of wings; true flies have just one. This is a large family of flies that eats a wide range of foods. Some are aphid predators. Others feed on detritus, decaying vegetation, wet wood or living plants. Adults feed on nectar or pollen. Flower Flies do not possess a sting.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Syrphidae
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name:Syrphid Fly
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Diptera
Suborder:Brachycera
Family:Syrphidae
Subfamily:Eristalinae
Tribe:Eristalini
Taxon Code:DIP00464
ITIS/TSN:140969

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Description
Its body is darkish brown with orange yellow patches on the sides and upper surface, and it is covered with short fine hairs. It looks remarkably like a honeybee (Apis mellifera). The different species of Eristalis are very difficult to distinguish, but Eristalis tenax is one of the commonest of these honeybee mimics.
Body Length
8-15 mm

BIOLOGY
Habitat
The adults feed on nectar from flowers and are often seen hovering in front of flower blooms in gardens in both urban and rural areas. The larvae feed on rotting organic material in stagnant water in a variety of locations.
Active Period
Late March to early December; most common in September and October.
Development
The larva of the Drone-Fly feeds on decaying organic material in stagnant water in small ponds, ditches and drains. Such water usually contains little or no oxygen and the larva breathes through the long thin tube that extends from its rear end to the surface of the water and that gives it its common name of ?rat-tailed maggot?.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
BugGuide .
ITIS .


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