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Hoverfly6 locationsInsect/Spider
.: trailzrus :.
Jun 16 2012
Escudilla Trail
.: Bearpaw :.
Apr 4 2011
Cody Trail #9
TypeInsect/Spider
FamilySyrphidae - Hoverfly
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Volucella

Common Names:Hoverfly, Flower Fly, Syrphid Fly
Habitat:Hoverflies are a cosmopolitan family found in most biomes excluding deserts and the tundra at extremely high latitudes. Larvae of hoverflies are often found in stagnant water. Adults are often found near plants, their principal food source being nectar and pollen. Some species are found in more unusual locations; for example, members of the genus Volucella can be found in bumblebee nests, while members of Microdon are myrmecophiles, found in ant or termite nests. Others can be found in decomposing vegetation.
Description:The size of hoverflies varies, depending on the species. As members of Diptera, all hoverflies have a single functional pair of wings (the hindwings are reduced to balancing organs). They are brightly colored, with spots, stripes, and bands of yellow or brown covering their bodies. Due to this coloring, they are often mistaken for wasps or bees; they exhibit Batesian mimicry. Despite this, hoverflies are harmless. With a few exceptions, hoverflies are distinguished from other flies by a spurious vein, located parallel to the fourth longitudinal wing vein. Their bodies are densely covered by bristles, and adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen. They also hover around flowers, lending to their common name.
Comments: Many species of hoverfly larvae prey upon pest insects, including aphids and the leafhoppers which spread some diseases like curly top. Therefore they are seen in biocontrol as a natural means of reducing the levels of pests. Gardeners, therefore, will sometimes use companion plants to attract hoverflies. Those reputed to do so include alyssum, Iberis umbellata, statice, buckwheat, chamomile, parsley, and yarrow.

Sources:

Carl A. Olson, Associate Curator
1140 E. South Campus Dr.
Dept. of Entomology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

Wikipedia


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