Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hoverfly

As a kid camping in the Adirondack Mountains, hoverflies (family Syrphidae) were a common sight, buzzing around the campfire. They receive their common name due to their ability to hover (really? never would have guessed that...). They are often mistaken as bees or wasps due to their mimicry coloration, but are completely harmless to humans. The most common species of Syrphidae in North America goes by the family's common name of Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus). Adults emerge in mid-summer to feed off of flower nectar, while the larvae actually feed on aphids, eventually pupating in the soil. Since aphids are huge pests in agricultural systems, both in America and abroad, aphidophagus (aphid consumers!!!!) hoverfly species are increasingly being recognized as potential natural biological control agents.

Hoverfly on top of Estes Cone in Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo by: Matt Brincka 

Hoverfly on top of Estes Cone in Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo by: Matt Brincka

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