Hover flies

Syrphid on approach path
Hover fly on approach path

I keep finding more syrphid flies. These last few days, I’m seeing a lot of yet another kind. Some mornings at least half a dozen of them are checking out the sweet alyssum. They hover and zip aside and hover and zip back and hover and come for a landing on the flowers. This is why they’re also called flower flies and hover flies. Near as I can nonexpertly guess, these particular ones seem to be Eupeodes americanus, or American hover fly.

The syrphid has landed.
The hover fly has landed.

That’s why planting sweet alyssum is a good way to attract beneficial insects like hover flies. (Note: that link goes to a paper written by one Robert Bugg. You can’t make this stuff up.)

Syrphid laying an egg
Hover fly laying an egg

And the attraction here is that their larvae are nasty looking creatures that eat lots of aphids. See? There’s a mom fly laying an egg right next to one. That aphid is doomed.



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