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  • Flower Fly - (Scaeva pyrastri)

    Flower Fly - (Scaeva pyrastri)

    The harmless Flower Fly mimics a more unsavory wasp, making its life a bit easier by taking advantage of an aggressive reputation.




    Staff Writer (8/28/2014): This fly looks like a wasp and is a fine mimic. Despite similar physical appearance and even flight behavior, the Flower Fly is just a fly. It does not have a stinger and is not venomous. In fact, it is a wonderful pollinator and is a benefit to gardens and farms.

    The dramatic black and yellow coloration wards off would-be predators. Upon closer examination, one can see there is no stinger at the tip of the abdomen. The Flower Fly may 'hover' in flight, like wasps, and that behavior led to them being called Hover Flies in Europe. They are common in the central and western regions of North America. They can also be found in Africa.

    This particular species' larvae feeds on aphids, tiny insects that eat plant juices. Because of that diet, Flower Flies help keep aphid populations down so plants and flowers suffer less.

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    Details of the:
    Flower Fly


    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Flower Fly
    Scientific Name: Scaeva pyrastri
    Other Names: Wasp Mimic, Hover Fly

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Syrphidae
           Genus: Scaeva
            Species: pyrastri

    Size (Adult, Length): 8mm to 20mm (0.31in to 0.79in)

    Identifying Colors: black; white; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: bee, wasp, flying, harmless


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Dakota; Texas; Utah; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.