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Genus Syrphus

syrphid fly - just emerged - Syrphus Syrphid Fly - Syrphus opinator - female Syrphid Fly - Syrphus Syrphid  - Syrphus opinator Syrphid Flies Syrphus knabi - Syrphus knabi Syrphid - Syrphus ribesii - female unknown Syrphini - Syrphus ribesii - male Cascades Syrphus - Syrphus - male
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Family Syrphidae (Syrphid Flies)
Subfamily Syrphinae
Tribe Syrphini
Genus Syrphus
Explanation of Names
Syrphus Fabricius 1775
From Greek syrphos (συρφος), a small winged insect, "gnat"
Numbers
14 spp. in our area(1), 5 are holarctic (Flower flies of Canada, Alaska and Greenland, subfamily Syrphinae, page 363)
Identification
The only genus in the Syrphini that has long hairs on the lower lobe of the calypter is Syrphus and that is used to separate the genus from all related genera.

Another feature you will find in most Syrphus (but not in all and also in some species in other genera) is a dull mesonotum. Many Syrphinae have a strongly shining mesonotum, sometimes with two whitish stripes near the anterior margin. When you look carefully you can sometimes discern very vague stripes in some other species.
A character of Eupeodes not found in Syrphus is the margined abdomen (see thumbnails below). A second character (but be more careful with this one) is that Eupeodes has paired spots on the tergites that may merge to form bands. And that is where you have to be careful. (Comments by Paul Beuck).
abdomen of Eupeodes (note black margin) and Syrphus

"Syrphus torvus has hairy eyes (more in the male than in the female). Syrphus opinator is the common species in central California. Syrphus torvus is more northern and early spring only. Syrphus opinator has the abdominal fasciae (bands) restricted to the sides and isolated from the margins. There are other characters such as the distribution of microscopic hairs on the wing that separate these species." Comment on how to distinguish S. torvus from S. opinator by Chris Thompson.

Larvae with pattern of white, yellow/red or brown colors with 4 or 5 pairs of chevrons.
Range
New World, Eurasia, Africa(2)
Food
Larvae feed on aphids. Adults take nectar and pollen.
Life Cycle
Larva | Puparium | Puparium ready to eclose | Adult and pupal case
Works Cited
1.Key to the genera of nearctic Syrphidae
Miranda G.F.G, Young A.D., Locke M.M., Marshall S.A., Skevington J.H., Thompson F.C. 2013. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 23: 1-351.
2.Thompson F.C., Pape T., Evenhuis N.L. (2013) Systema Dipterorum, Version 1.5