Flower-fly

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(Redirected from Syrphidae)
Syrphidae
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Syrphid.jpg



Flower-fly
Scientific classification
Domain:Eukaryota
Kingdom:Animalia
Subkingdom:Metazoa
Phylum:Arthropoda
Subphylum:Hexapoda
Class:Insecta
Subclass:Pterygota
Infraclass:Neoptera
Superorder:Endopterygota
Order:Diptera
Suborder:Brachycera

Template:Taxobox infraordo entry Template:Taxobox sectio entry

Superfamily:Syrphoidea
Family:Syrphidae
Genera

200 genera
about 5,000 species

The flower-flies or hover-flies are a family of flies (Diptera), scientifically termed "Syrphidae".

As one of their names suggests, they are most often seen around flowers; the adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprophytes, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects. Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year, and so aphid-feeding hover-flies are being recognised as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control.

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Flower-fly2.web.jpg
a flower-fly

Some syrphids mimic bees or wasps in appearance, in some cases bearing an alarming resemblance, both in shape and coloration. It is thought that this mimicry protects hover-flies against falling prey to birds and other insectivores which avoid eating true wasps because of their sting. Adult syrphid flies are important pollinators.

About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described. One species, Eristalis gatesi, is named after Bill Gates [1] (http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/diptera/syrphid/gates.htm).

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Schwebfliege.jpg
Episyrphus balteatus

Hoverflies in Britain

A list of hoverfly species recorded from Britain can be found here: List of Hoverfly species recorded in Britain

External links

de:Schwebfliegen fr:Épisyrphus nl:Zweefvliegen

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