Hover Flies
Wasp-mimic Hoverfly
Green Hoverfly
Black Hoverfly
Grey Native Drone Fly
Golden Native Drone Fly
Wasp-mimicking Hoverfly
Yellow-face Wasp Fly 
Native-bee-mimic Fly
Black Orange Hover Fly
Waisted Wasp-mimic Fly
Brown Wasp-mimic Fly 
Small Slander Hover Fly
Small Yellow Hover Fly 
Waisted Slender Hoverfly
White-banded Slender Fly
Grey-banded Hover Fly
Yellow-shouldered Fly
Black-headed Hover Fly
Yellow-shoulder Stout Fly
Orange-band Slender Fly



Hover Flies - Family Syrphidae

This page contains pictures and information about Hover Flies in family Syrphidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Hovering above my head
Hover Flies in family Syrphidae are common in Brisbane as well as in Australia. They are very good fliers. Most of them are good in hovering. They can stay motionless in air. 
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Eristalinae                                                          Microdontinae                                                    Syrphinae
Like most other flies, Hover Flies have very large eyes and short antenna. They have one pair of wings which are usually clear in colour. Hover Flies can be recognized by their wing vein patterns. M branches do not reach wing margin but but run in parallel with wing margin.
Hover Flies are also known as Flower Flies. Some species are called Drone Flies. Hover Flies may sometimes be confused with stinging bees or wasps. Their mimic colours (Batesian mimics of Hymenoptera) make them look like bees or wasps. Their bodies are slender. They are from small to medium in size.  On their abdomen there are the yellow-black bends and narrow waist mimic patterns. Some species resemble muscoid flies. Hover Flies visit  flowers as bees and wasps. They are major pollinators of some flower plants. They are usually seen hovering or resting on flowers. 
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The adult Hoverflies feed on nectar and most are the important pollinators of plants. We sometimes see the Hover Flies searching for the aphids on plants. Beside nectar, Hover Flies feed on honey dew produced by aphids as well.  
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Larva hunting aphids                                             Pupa                                                                    Photo thank to Trevor Jink
There are three subfamilies of Hoer Flies and they have very different life-histories.  Some species larvae are predators of many soft body insects such as aphids, scale insects, thrips and caterpillars. Some species of Hover Flies lay eggs near the aphids colony. Their maggot-like larvae are the predators of aphids. For details of this Hover Fly life-cycle information please click on here. Some larvae in this family live in ant or bee nests where they live as scavengers or predators.
Both Hover flies and Bee Flies (Bombyliidae) mimic bees and wasps. Bee Flies have longer wings while Hover Flies have shorter wings with a series of closed cell on the wings hind margins. 

Eristalinae - Drone Flies, Rat-tailed Maggot
This subfamily has the widest range of larval habitats. Most Eristalinae larvae are saprophagous. They live in sap trails, under bark, in rot-holes in trees and in decaying organic material such as dung and compost. Some live as scavengers on the remains of insects and other material. Others are leaf miners, tunnel in stems and root. Some are specialize on wax-secreting aphids. Some are parasitoids in wasp or bees nests. Some known as rat-tailed maggots and are aquatic.
Microdontinae - Wasp-mimic Hover Flies
The hover flies in Subfamily Microdontinae have antennae directed anteriorly and usually long, but diverse in structure in different species. Head is board. The eyes are bare and wide apart in both sex. They are stoutly built, closely resembling bees or wasps. 
Syrphinae - Slender Hover Flies 
Hover Flies in this subfamily Syrphinae are from small to medium in size. They have slender body and short antenna. Most of them mimic small bees or warps with yellow and black bands on abdomen. 

1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p763.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p368.
3. Family SYRPHIDAE - Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog - Web Version, by F. Christian Thompson & J.R. Vockeroth, 2007. 
4. Syrphidae - Graeme's Insects of Townsville, Australia. 
5. Family SYRPHIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory.
6. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
7. Flower Flies (Syrphidae) - Flower Flies (Syrphidae), LIFEDESK COMMUNITY. 

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Last updated: February 10, 2013.