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Good Bug Corner (06/04/15)

This week’s featured bug is the syrphid fly or hoverfly (Diptera: Syrphidae). There are about 1,000 species of syrphid flies in North America, and are common in field crops.

Good Bug Corner

This week’s featured bug is the syrphid fly or hoverfly (Diptera:  Syrphidae). There are about 1,000 species of syrphid flies in North America, and are common in field crops. The adult looks like a bee or wasp with its yellow and black pattern on the abdomen. It even buzzes like a bee but is stingless! But, if you look closely it only has two wings so it is a fly, not a wasp with 4 wings. The immature stage is a maggot that looks like a slug, about ½ inch long (mature) and pale green, yellow, brown or pink. Adults are important pollinators and feed on aphid honeydew, pollen and nectar of plants. Larvae are important predators of phytophagous insects, and will fed on aphids, leafhoppers, thrips and other soft bodied insects like small caterpillars. Larva often raise and swing their head side to side as it searches for prey. Each larva will consume about 400 aphids during its development. When syrphid fly larvae are abundant, they can reduce aphid populations by 70 to 100%!

ent.knodel.syrphid fly

Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

 

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