SHover Fly ~ Syrphid Fly ~ Flower Fly

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Hover Fly ~ Syrphid Fly ~ Flower Fly

Hover flies are in the family Syrphidae. They enjoy meals that consist of aphids.
These photographs were taken of hover flies on milkweed, eating milkweed aphids (also known as oleander aphids)
on Asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed) plants.

Two species of hover flies are pictured on this page. The main visible difference between the two is the size of the abdomen. The adult of the brown/beige larva has a narrower abdomen.

Hover flies can do just that: hover. They can also fly backward as well as the expected forward flight. They cannot harm people in spite of their yellow and black coloration, much like a small wasp.

Hover fly adults are considered important for cross-pollination of some crops. They also feed upon honeydew (excrement) from aphids. According to University of Florida, they may do a great job of controlling aphids: from 70% - 100%. One hover fly larva can consume the body fluids of hundreds of aphids.

Photo above right: hover fly egg to the left, Monarch egg to the right.

Some gardeners plant flowering plants that provide food for adult hover flies. Because aphids and other plant pests damage (or kill) plants and can transmit plant diseases, hover flies are very welcome in gardens.