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Syrphid Fly

Syrphid flies, also called hoverflies, can be seen feeding on flower nectar or hovering over blooms in summer. Although they are black and yellow or white banded, they are not a bee or a wasp. Adults feed only on pollen, nectar, and honeydew.

Larvae are about 12 mm long, wrinkled and taper to a point at the head. They can be green or brown with whitish areas. They feed on small, soft bodied insects and may eat as many as 400 aphids during their larval stage of development. The insects overwinter as pupae either in the soil or above ground in leaf litter.

Syrphid Fly Larvae 
Syrphid fly larva feeding on aphids. 
Photo by W.P. Armstrong.

The adults emerge in May and June and lay eggs on plants infested with prey. Larvae feed for 7 to 10 days, and then drop to the soil to pupate. A life cycle is completed in 3 to 4 weeks and there may be multiple overlapping generations each year.

Last updated: 12/6/2012 8:00:15 AM