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Syrphid Fly

FAST FACTS - SYRPHID FLIES
by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian

SIGNS

  • Adult flying insects with black and yellow bands on their abdomen
  • Tiny whitish to gray oblong eggs, singly on their sides, usually near aphids or within aphid colonies
  • Legless larvae 1/32 to 1/2 inch long, with a yellow longitudinal stripe on the back
  • Pear-shaped, green to dark brown pupa found on plants or on the soil surface

    SYMPTOMS

  • Honeybee looking insects hovering over flowers

    CAUSE

  • Syrphid or hover flies in the Syrphidae family
  • 1000 species in North America, many being very abundant

    OPTIMAL CONDITIONS / HABITAT

  • Regularly found where aphids are present in agricultural, landscape, and garden habitats
  • Adults feast on pollen and nectar Ė favorites include wild carrot and mustard, coriander, dill, fennel, sweet alyssum and yarrow
  • Their movement from flower to flower makes them an important pollinator
  • Usually most visible in the latter half of the growing season, after aphid infestations have been well established

    TREATMENT

    Prevention:

  • None - these insects should be encouraged with diverse plantings of nectar and pollen producing plants

    Elimination:

  • None - you donít want to eliminate these from the garden

    GOOD GUY / BAD GUY?

  • A really good guy; the larvae are predators and the adult is a pollinator

    Syrphid Fly photo by Jill Fromer, used with permission from:
    http://www.istockphoto.com/


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    Last Modified: 08/06/2013