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Marmelade Fly Episyrphus balteatus from the side
Marmelade Fly Episyrphus balteatus from the side

Hoverflies (Syrphidae) are a family of the order Diptera. There are 500 species in Europe, 1,800 in the Palearctic (the region comprising Europe and Asia - north of the Himalayan foothills - together with North Africa and the temperate part of the Arabian peninsula) and approximately 6,000 globally. The most striking characteristic of the hoverfly is its ability to remain in one place when flying, even in wind.
Hoverfly on red blossom
Hoverfly on red blossom
Because there is a huge variety of hoverflies their appearance and colour varies enormously. They can look similar to wasps, but they are not dangerous and have no sting. This mimicry protects them from their enemies. The body shape of the hoverfly varies from long and thin to compact. Some species are hairy. The front part of the head is shaped like a muzzle and the mouth parts are designed for sucking up liquid food such as nectar and for chewing pollen. Hoverflies have distinctive markings on their forewings.
Hoverfly and ant on a yellow flower
Hoverfly and ant on a yellow flower
The abdomen of the hoverfly differs from species to species. It can be wedge-shaped, thick, oblong or club-shaped. Its coloring varies from metallic black, black on blueishgrey tones to a variety of stripes and spots (mostly in black and yellow).
Hoverfly Megasyrphus annulipes
Hoverfly Megasyrphus annulipes
Hoverflies are important aspollinators of plant flowers. Some examples of hoverflies are: Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Parasyrphus punctulatus, Volucella bombylans, Syritta pipiens, the drone fly, Myathropa florea and Syrphus ribesii.
Eupeodes corollae
Eupeodes corollae

Common namesRat-tailed Maggots, Hoverflies, Hover flies, Drone flies, Flower flies, Syrphid flies
German namesSchwebfliegen, Stehfliegen, Schwirrfliegen
Dutch namesZweefvliegen
Danish namesSvirrefluer, Blomsterfluer
Finnish namesKukkakärpäset
Norwegian namesBlomsterfluer
Swedish namesBlomflugor
AuthorLatreille, 1802




Indo-Australian region



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Links and ReferencesSyrphidae in
Syrphidae in
Syrphidae in
Syrphidae in
Syrphidae in Wikipedia (English)

Further chapters of "Hoverflies"
- Marmelade Fly
- Syrphus ribesii
- Myathropa florea
- Drone fly
- Eristalis arbustorum
- Helophilus trivittatus
- Sphaerophoria scripta
- Chrysotoxum festivum
- Xanthogramma pedissequum
- Eupeodes corollae
- Thick-legged Hoverfly
- Xylota segnis
- Helophilus pendulus
- Eristalis pertinax
- Platycheirus albimanus
- Melanostoma mellinum
- Melanostoma scalare
- Heineken Hoverfly
- Eristalis lineata
- Narcissus bulb fly
- Baccha elongata
- Pellucid Hoverfly
- Eristalis interrupta
- Hornet mimic hoverfly
- Band-eyed drone fly
- Eristalinus megacephalus
- Eristalis horticola
- Paragus tibialis
- Paragus haemorrhous
- Scaeva pyrastri
- Epistrophe melanostoma
- Eristalis intricaria
- Eristalinus aeneus
- Sphaerophoria rueppelli
Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Marmelade Fly Episyrphus balteatus from the side
2. Hoverfly on red blossom
3. Hoverfly and ant on a yellow flower
4. Hoverfly Megasyrphus annulipes
5. Eupeodes corollae
Quick search: Hoverfly - Hoverflies - Mouthparts - Mouth - Corollae - Flies
Eupeodes - Syrphidae - Body - Yellow - Fly - Blossom - Red - Black
Insects, True insects
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Holometabolous Insects
True flies, Mosquitoes, Gnats, Flies
Short-horned flies, Muscoid flies, Circular-seamed flies, Flies
Rat-tailed Maggots, Hoverflies, Hover flies, Drone flies, Flower flies, Syrphid flies
AuthorLatreille, 1802
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