Flower Fly (Scaeva pyrastri)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Flower Fly.
Updated: 5/23/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The harmless Flower Fly mimics a more unsavory wasp, making life a bit easier by taking advantage of an aggressive reputation.
This fly looks like a wasp and is a fine mimic, but despite a 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 a benefit to gardens and farms. This particular species' larvae feed on aphids - tiny insects that siphon plant juices. Because of that, Flower Flies help keep aphid populations low, which translates to healthier plants and flowers.
The dramatic black and yellow coloration on this Flower Fly wards off would-be predators. Upon closer examination, one can see there is no stinger at the tip of the abdomen. The Flower Fly can also hover over flowers and people, just like wasps, so 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.