Hover Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) on Eupatorium altissimum (Asteraceae)

Hover Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) visiting Eupatorium altissimum (Asteraceae) filmed in Georgia State Botanical Gardens, Athens, GA, USA on September 16th, 2012. Submitted as a short observation.

When we talk about pollination bees immediately occupy our imagination almost as a cerebral Pavlovian reflex. Flies are big component of the insect pollinators yet they rarely get peoples attention. The insect family Syrphidae (aka syrphid flies) has more than more than 6000 species categorized in 200 genera worldwide. They stand out with their striking bee-mimicing yellow striped colors. It appears visual resemblance into a bee confers a survival advantage. Those who look like bees survive better. Here you can see a syrphid fly visiting the flowers of the Eupatorium altissimum belonging to the Daisy family (Asteraceae).

Moreover, Syrphid flies can be biocontrol agents. Hover fly larvae are predators of many insects gardeners dislike, including aphids and the leafhoppers. These pests can spread diseases such as curly top.

 

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