Habitat and Geography

Range: Eastern and Northern North America, especially the New England area. However Specimens have been collected as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida. (Williston 1886)

Habitat: flowered areas, gardens, fields. Inhabits a variety of habitats that offer flowering plants for feeding on. (Microscopy-UK 2007) Additionally, seeing as aphids are a primary food source they will almost certainly be found in any hover fly habitat.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/131885 A hover fly resting on a flowerhttp://bugguide.net/node/view/593285 Hover flies feeding on pollen/nectar

Figure: Flower Fly Images courtesy of Charles Schurch Lewallen and Andrew v. F. Block, Iowa State University Department of Entomology.


Ecological Role: This species lives in large fields, gardens, and other flower dominant areas. As such its ecological role is related to this habitat. Syrphid fly larvae are predators of aphids, some of which can be pests especially in large numbers. As such these flies are important regulators of aphid populations, holding them in check so they do not overgraze. (Skevington 2011) Adults feed on mainly nectar but are also known to suck “honeydew” from aphids, also helping to control their populations. Adults also have a unique adaptation that allows them to actually digest pollen, something the females are especially known for as the pollen proteins help in egg development. (Microscopy-UK 2007)

Predation: While hover flies’ camouflage offers a good deal of protection, there are still other organisms which are predators of this species, as is the case for nearly all insects. Certain species of wasps specialize in hunting the larvae while the larvae are busy feeding on aphids. Additionally one bird species, the Spotted Fly Catcher, has keen eyesight and has developed the ability to distinguish between real bees and imitators such as hover flies. (Microscopy U.K. 2007)

See how this organisms adaptations coincide with the roles it plays in its habitat: Adaptations