Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Subfamily Syrphinae

Insect for ID - Hypocritanus fascipennis Syrphid - Syrphus or Eupeodes? - Eupeodes - female Syrphid Fly - Melanostoma mellinum - female syrphid 3 - Chrysotoxum unknown syrphid 2 - Syrphus rectus Toxomerus? - Toxomerus geminatus - male Fly (Syrphidae) - Syrphus rectus Fly - Toxomerus geminatus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Family Syrphidae (Hover Flies)
Subfamily Syrphinae
~300 spp. in 43 genera in our area(1)
Keys to most NA spp. in(2)
Adults have bare humeri (postpronotal lobes), though these are often hidden by the concave posterior of their close fitting heads.
The larvae are primarily aphid predators. Some are generalists, others specialize in just a few species of aphids. Those in the Pipizini tribe specialize on gall forming aphids.
Adults exploit pollen and nectar produced by native plants having large inflorescences and flat corollae (e.g. Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Ranunculaceae and Rosaceae).
Life Cycle
1: egg. 2 and 3: larvae. 4 and 5 puparia
Efficient biocontrol agents and minor pollinators.(3)
The classification of tribes is in flux; only Paragini and Toxomerini seem to be monophyletic. (Mengual et al. 2008)

Larvae have pairs of locomotory organs on the first six abdominal segments. These are not true prolegs because they lack musculature and crochets.
Internet References
The Flower Flies of the Subfamily Syrphinae of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. Key to Nearctic genera and subgenera of Syrphinae, page 27.
Cornell U. Biological Control.
Annual Review of Entomology. Bionomics and Physiology of Aphidophagous Syrphidae
U. Cal. Flower Flies (Syrphidae) and Other Biological Control Agents for Aphids in Vegetable Crops
U. Cal. Bugg, R. L.
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. Can. J. Arthropod Identification 23: 1-351.
2.The flower flies of the subfamily Syrphinae of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland, Diptera: Syrphidae
Vockeroth J.R. 1992. The insects and arachnids of Canada, Pt. 18. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada. 456 pp.
3.Flower Flies (Syrphidae) and other biological control agents for aphids in vegetable crops
R. Bugg et al. 2008. UC ANR Publication 8285.