Hoverflies, also called the flowerfly by some.
Yes, they are true members of the diptera or fly family.
More than 6,000 species have been identified world wide.
More than 900 species in North America.
Why do I want them in my yard and gardens?
I'm glad you asked.
These flies serve double duty.
Adults are pollinators.
Flying in and out of or flower beds and veggie gardens.
To the uninformed or the untrained eye, many species may resemble wasps and bees in appearance.
A couple of sure ways to really know if it is a wasp/bee or a totally harmless hoverfly is to observe.
Like most flies, they have those huge eyes.
However, the real give away is the flight of a fly.
Yes indeed, these flies do indeed hover.
Like our hummingbirds, hoverflies can move up and down, front and back.
They hover, move side to side and do it on right now.
Hoverflies are unique as their wings operate much like a hummer.
While wasps/bees and many other insects have two sets of wings. flies operate with a single set of wings.
"Nature" has created several species of fly to look and act like a wasp or bee.
Many have similar colors and markings.
Some mimic a bee's actions and movements.
Even to the point of pretending to sting.
Flowerflies lack extended antennae so some flies will extend their front legs to look like antennae.
Isn't "Nature" marvelous?
Hover or Flowerflies earn their weight in gold in the larval state.
Many fly larvae spend time under water eating decaying plant material or hanging out on the floor of your gardens doing the same.
Some larvae are ravenous feeders on garden insects like thrips, aphids and other insects that suck the life out of your plants.
They also attack the larvae of other insects as well.
Yes, larvae or maggots of the Flowerfly are on the front lines of biological warfare in your gardens.
The fly larvae eat more aphids than our beloved lady beetle.
More and more research is happening on biological warfare and beneficial insects.
Millions of dollars in damage is done to crops every year by aphids alone and this humble fly larvae is now leading the way in chemical free battles.
Yes, These relatives of the house fly are truly a marvel in the garden.
Before you swat, stomp or spray away, take a moment.
Are you watching the mighty yet humble "Hoverfly"?
Adult flies and their larvae also provide a source of food to your backyard birds.
I suppose this would make them an insect that pulls triple duty.
Hoverflies and Other Beneficial Insects
Build a Beneficial Insectary
Native Flowers Attract Insects
Attract Pollinators to Your Gardens
God's nature is well designed and well planned, even when it comes to insects.