Hover Fly

Eristalinus (?)

a Hover Fly, Syrphidae, observed at Mweiga, Nyeri County, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Mweiga, Kenya, December 2015. Length is about 10 mm.
This one is visiting flowers of Conyza, a composite (Asteraceae)

The immature stage of Syrphid Flies, like all flies, are worm-like larvae, often referred to as maggots. Many are predators on varous insects, while others live in wet, decomposing plant matterial. World wide there are more than 6000 species! This species has vividly marked compound eyes; some flies in this group are commonly called Drone Flies.

The adults of can hover in place like a helicopter and are frequently seen at flowers where they feed on nectar and perhaps pollen. They are also commonly called Flower Flies. As they move from flower to flower they might affect pollination. They do not sting or bite, thus the bright bee-like pattern deceives birds and other insectivores into avoiding them. They can on close inspection, be readily distinguished by having one pair of wings whereas all bees have two pairs of wings.

Syrphidae -- Hover Fly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 31 March 2016