Picture of Syrphid Fly

Picture of Syrphid Larva

Click on image to view larger.
Syrphid flies or flower flies

This is a large group of flies, ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inch long. Most adult syrphid flies are black or brown with yellow banded abdomens and body markings, superficially resembling bees and wasps. Some species are hairy and have a long, thin abdomen. Antennae are short (not elbowed). Larvae of most species are legless spindle-shaped instars and vary in color from creamy-white to green or brown.

Generally considered beneficial because the larval stages of many species are predaceous on insect pests such as aphids and adults pollinate flowers.

Life cycle:
In general, females oviposit a single egg on leaves near aphid infestations or near other suitable food source for that species. Larvae hatch in about 3 days and develop through several instars over a period of 2 to 3 weeks before pupating, either on the host plant or in the soil. The skin of the last instar forms the tan-brown teardrop shaped puparium. Adults emerge in 1 to 2 weeks unless the pupal stage remains through the winter. Up to 7 generations occur annually.