Syrphid (Hover, Flower) Flies

General Description


Larvae feed on aphids, scales, thrips.



Egg - white, oval, 1 – 2 mm long, visible among aphid colonies.

Larva - legless, maggot-shaped with flattened appearance, various colours and body patterns (below) ; 10-15 mm long when mature.



Adult - brightly coloured with yellow and black marks on the abdomen, looks like a wasp or bee but has only one pair of wings, less hairy, short antennae; body 8 - 15 mm long (Fig. 1). 

Fig. 1. Adult syrphid (hover) fly. (AA-FC)


Life History

Overwinter as larvae, pupae, or adults depending on the species. Adults emerge in the spring and lay whitish eggs close to aphid colonies on leaves or tree bark. Adults frequent flowers over which they hover before landing to feed on nectar and pollen (their only food source). Adults need pollen from wild flowers or weeds in order to produce eggs. Several generations are produced per year depending on temperature and location.


Examine aphid-infested leaves and shoots for maggot-like larvae. Adults frequent flowers.