Syrphid Sunday

Hover fly on buttercup bud

It’s easy enough to find beautiful flowers, now that the weather has warmed up, but you need to look really close to spot one of these beautiful little syrphid flies. There’s a whole range of these predatory flies, often dressed in beelike yellow and black. Some like this Allograpta obliqua are hover flies. You might just barely see a tiny speck of a dash hovering near the flowers, then shifting side to side or zigzagging about, as if looking for something. Then if they stop and your camera gets a good look, you might see just how beautiful they are.

Drone fly  on centaurea

Syrphid fly on strawberry blossom

Sometimes you hear them first, sounding like a bee buzz, only louder and more whiny. These often look like bees too, bee-sized, and bee-patterned, like the Drone Fly (I think) on the left.

Others I don’t have a clue about until I upload the photos, just a little of the “What’s that?” excitement when I catch sight of a mysterious bug zipping about, like the Platycheirus on the right.

Commonly, the larvae eat aphids and the adults drink nectar, like a cross between ladybugs and bees. So they’re good for the garden, and it’s good to see them.

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