Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Hover Fly - (Toxomerus geminatus)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/28/2014

The harmless, even helpful, Hover Fly is a clever mimic of insects with a mean reputation.

Picture of Hover Fly

Although it looks like a wasp or bee, this species of fly cannot bite or sting. The Hover Fly is able to stay in one place as it flies, much like its more threatening look-a-likes. They can be found in gardens, parks, meadows and other areas with flowers.

Larvae feed on pesky aphid (smaller insects that suck plant juices to the detriment of the plant). Hover Fly larvae eventually drop off the plant and pupate in soil. Adults emerge in the summer and drink flower nectar. They are often seen 'hovering' over the flowers they drink from, hence their name.

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Category: Fly or Mosquito
Common name: Hover Fly
Scientific Name: Toxomerus geminatus
Other Names: Flower Fly

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Diptera
      Family: Syrphidae
       Genus: Toxomerus
        Species: geminatus

Adult Size (Length): 7mm to 13mm (0.28in to 0.51in)

Identifying Colors: brown; black; yellow

Additional Descriptors: bee, wasp, butt, flying, helpful

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

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