University of Maryland Extension

Flower Fly


Adult flower fly

Close-up of egg

Larva feeding on an aphid

Syrphid larva

The flower flies are also known as hover or Syrphid flies. They are also common aphid predators in the garden and landscape. The adults resemble bees, with yellow and black, or white and black striped abdomens. They are 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch long and are often found hovering over flowers like hummingbirds feeding on nectar. The adult female fly lays eggs near aphid colonies, and may often be seen flying around aphid-infested plants. The eggs hatch into larvae (maggots) that may be grayish or greenish, and are somewhat translucent. These larvae consume large numbers of aphids before moving off the foliage into the soil to pupate. Adult flower flies must have nectar. Grow perennial and annual flowers to attract them. They are not currently available commercially.

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