Hoverfly (Family: Syrphidae) - Wiki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Photo] Hoverfly resting on a grass stalk late in the day. Hoverfly (Melangyna viridiceps) of approx 12mm. Taken in Victoria, Australia in October 2006. Taken by Fir0002 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fir0002
Flies in the Diptera family Syrphidae are commonly known as hoverflies, flower flies, or Syrphid flies.
As their common names suggest, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects. Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year, and so aphid-feeding hover-flies are being recognized as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control. Adult syrphid flies are important pollinators.
About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described.
Hoverflies and gardening
Hoverfly larvae prey upon pest insects, including the leafhoppers which spread some diseases like curly top. Therefore they are seen in agriculture as a natural means of reducing the risk of diseases like curly top.
Gardeners, therefore, will sometimes use companion plants to attract hoverflies. Those reputed to do so include alyssum, Iberis umbellata, statice, buckwheat, chamomile, parsley, and yarrow.
|The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.|