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American Hover Fly (Eupeodes spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the American Hover Fly

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Image Credit: Noah Blades Photography
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A great bee mimic and pollinator, the Hover Fly does not have a stinger and is only a threat to pesky aphids that attack plants.

Updated: 11/02/2022; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Hover Flies are a type of Flower Fly that is helpful to people and completely harmless. This genus is considered a bee mimic thanks to its coloring and striped abdomen. Some species even mimic having two pairs of wings at rest (like the majority of bees and wasps). They accomplish this illusion by having a darker front edge on their single pair of wings.

Adult Hover Flies drink flower nectar, visiting many blossoms a day while feeding. They incidentally carry lots of pollen from flower to flower on their bodies which helps pollinate gardens. As if the benefits of having them pollinate weren't enough to encourage them to thrive, they also eat aphids and other plant pests in their larval life stage. This diet helps curb aphid infestations that harm plants and diminish harvests, meaning Hover Flies are good to have around.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the American-Hover-Fly

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmless insect icon
Helpful insect icon
Pollinator insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Syrphidae
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          Genus: Eupeodes
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Eupeodes spp.
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 14mm (0.35" to 0.55")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; orange
Descriptors: bee-like; wasp mimic; flying; hovering; harmless; helpful; pollinator; red eyes; bands; short lines

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 9mm (0.4in) and 14mm (0.6in)
Lo: 9mm
Md: 11.5mm
Hi: 14mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the American Hover Fly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the American Hover Fly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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