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Genus Sphaerophoria

Syrphid Fly - Sphaerophoria - male Syrphid Fly  - Sphaerophoria - female Sphaerophoria? - Sphaerophoria contigua Syrphid Fly - Sphaerophoria Cylindrical Saskatchewan Sphaerophoria Syrphid - Sphaerophoria Wasp mimic fly - Sphaerophoria Mating syrphids - Sphaerophoria - male - female Toxomerus - Sphaerophoria
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 Sphaerophoria
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
revised in(1)
Explanation of Names
Sphaerophoria Lepeletier & Serville 1828
14 spp. in our area(2)
5.9-10.8 mm(3)
usually associated with dry grassland, also around woodland paths or marshes(4)
Larvae feed on aphids. Adults take nectar and pollen and may be pollinators
Life Cycle
1. Puparium. 2. Mating pair
Two main groups in the key(5): species whose lateral scutum stripe ends at the transverse suture (novaeangliae, contigua, sulphuripes, pyrrhina) and those with a faint or strong stripe extending past the suture (scripta, philanthus, brevipilosa, longipilosa, cranbrookensis, asymmetrica, weemsi, bifurcata, abbreviata). The former are usually keyable to species in both sexes (though male sulphuriphes and pyrrhina cannot be told apart); the latter are generally impossible to key from photographs with the exception of male scripta (found only in Greenland) and philanthus and female scripta, cranbrookensis, and bifurcata. In Vockeroth's key, multiple species of females in the latter group fall out together, and can only be told apart when attached in copula to a male that is then keyed from the genitalia.

Stripe ends at the transverse suture (click for an explanation on the first image):

Stripe continues past the transverse suture, either strongly (as in the first image) or more weakly (as in the second image):
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Taxonomic revision of aphid-killing flies of the genus Sphaerophoria in the Western Hemisphere (Syrphidae)
Knutson L.V. 1973. Misc. publications of the Entomological Society of America 9, 1-50.
2.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.
3.Flower Flies (Syrphidae) -
4.Hover Fly Survey of LA County
5.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.