Insect Identification logo
Icon of a spider
Icon of a beetle insect
Icon of a butterfly
Icon of a bee
Icon of the Bugfinder utility

Flower Fly (Toxomerus marginatus)


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




Flower Flies in the Toxomerus genus look like tiny wasps, but these flies are interested in plant pests, not people.



Seeing this Flower Fly in the garden is always a win. Not only is it harmless to people, it helps clear vegetable and fruit plants of insects that drain and damage them. They are keen mimics of wasps with similar colors and banding on the abdomen, but a look at their eyes and antennae reveal what they really are. In this species, female eyes are separated (see photo), while male eyes are right next to each other (holoptic). They are much smaller than bees, but they are able to hover like them. Flower flies are often seen doing just that over plants loaded with blossoms.

Active from spring through autumn, females lay fertilized eggs on plants. These hatch into larvae that are adept at eating other creatures that are detrimental to a plant's health like aphids, small caterpillars, and other soft-bodied insects. Larvae look like green worms with a yellowish coloring down the center and a thin dark line along the 'back'. They are well camouflaged for the green foliage they live on. So efficient and hungry are these larvae that they may completely eliminate a population of aphids off of a plant by harvest time. Adults drink nectar.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Syrphidae
          Genus: Toxomerus
            Species: marginatus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Toxomerus marginatus
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 6mm (0.20in to 0.23in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, black, orange
Descriptors: metallic, stripe, band, diamond, wasp, bee, flying, helpful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.