Week of August 26

Hoverfly

(Syrphid fly, Flower fly; or written as Hover fly)

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Hoverfly on oregano flower
Hoverfly in this video is a different species than in the photograph and appears like a bee.
Also notice the way it hovers and then darts to a different point.
Hoverflies are commonly seen in gardens rich in plant variety. These flies may often go unnoticed or, more commonly, mistaken for bees.
There are multiple hoverfly species and therefore they vary in the size, shape and color. Some overflies are very small and will be noticed only when observed closely. Others may be very similar in color and size to small honey bees. One of the characteristic that distinguishes them from bees and gives them their name is their flight pattern. They hover at a point and then rapidly dart to a different location to hover.
Hoverflies are also known as syrphid flies. If herbs in the garden are left to flower many hoverflies can be found hovering around them.
These flies, although may look like bees, wasps or large mosquitoes, do no sting and do not harm humans or pets.
So why do they deserve the weekly highlight section of this online post? Hoverflies are very important as beneficial insects in the garden. Most people have heard about ladybugs as a beneficial insect but hoverflies do not usually top the list of popularity. Hoverflies are equally beneficial in any garden.
They devour aphids and other tiny insects that cause damage to plants. The larvae of hoverflies also actively consume the damaging tiny insects.
In order to attract hoverflies, as with all other beneficial insects, it is very important to avoid spraying any chemicals in the garden.