|A tiny Hover Fly on a marigold.|
|A larger Hover Fly sharing the marigolds.|
Some Hover Flies mimic wasps in shape and colouring, but don’t sting. Wasps have long antennae and a cylindrical abdomen, while Hover Flies have short antennae and a flattened abdomen.
Hover Flies are attracted to flowers just like bees and assist in the process of pollination. They are especially good to have around with the recent problems we’ve had with the decimation of bee populations.
|Syrphus torvus Hover Fly.|
Larvae of Hover Flies often feed on aphids, an added bonus to have them around your yard and garden.
There are many varieties of Hover Flies. The larger one above I believe is called Syrphus torvus. It’s very common in Europe, Asia and North America, and can be found throughout Canada.
|Sphaeronphoria scripta is a small Hover Fly.|
Here’s another kind of Hover Fly enjoying my marigold flowers. I didn't realize that there were so many different kinds. It’s also a wasp mimic. I believe it is a variety of Sphaerophoria, possibly a Sphaerophoria scripta. It has worldwide distribution, so it's probably a good guess. I believe this is a female based on the fuller abdomen. Males have a long, slim shape.
|Notice how the wings look at rest.|
References: Bugs of British Columbia by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon, BugGuide.net (online), and the Etomology Collection of the University of Alberta. - Margy