A European native, the Deadhead Hover Fly has landed in North America, pollinating flowers along the Pacific Northwest.
A clever bee mimic, the Deadhead Hover Fly is yellow with black bands on its body. The black bands take the shape of a capital letter 'i'. Each segment of the abdomen has a top and bottom line with a connecting midline. The native American Hover Fly looks similar, but does not have a middle black line. True to its name, the Deadhead Hover Fly can hover over blossoms and plants, like a bee or wasp. It has a robust abdomen and lacks long, thin antennae - two features that help distinguish it from those stinging insects.
'Deadhead' is a common term used by gardeners to describe flowers that are spent or pollinated. Once pollination occurs, a flower no longer needs to put on a show, so its petals wither and fall off. This process creates unsightly deadheads that are quickly pruned or cut off by judicious gardeners. Removing deadheads not only improves the aesthetics of the plant, it also encourages the plant to grow even more flowers. It is likely that this fly pollinates flowers as it feeds on nectar, thereby expediting the creation of deadheads. It does not sting nor bite, so it is not harmful to people.
Scientific Name: Myathropa florea
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 14mm (0.39in to 0.55in)
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