Used with permission from the University of California Statewide IPM Program
Life cycle of Syrphidae

Eristalis transversa’s undergo metamorphosis in order to complete its life cycle which consists of four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adults.

Egg: Adults lay their chalky white or gray eggs, usually laid singly, into various environments where food sources are plentiful. Some adults will lay their eggs into beetles; after hatching, the larvae then feed on the beetle's eggs sucking out the contents until the egg is dry (Swan and Papp 1972).

Larva: After the eggs hatch, a process which lasts about three to four days, they molt into larva; at this stage they are soft bodied and vulnerable. The colors of the larvae can vary from yellow, green, black, and brown to gray. Depending on the color of the larvae and their environment, some are easily spotted by predators because of the color mismatch in their surroundings. As a larvae, it has molts into three instars before actually transforms into a puma. 

Pupa: These pear shaped pupas that pupate during October and November stay dormant in the ground through all of winter and into the spring. Berry says, “The larvae will feed for another seven to ten days before dropping to the soil to pupate” (Berry 1998). 

Adult: The molting process from pupa to adult takes place in March and April or even in February based on warm weather conditions. From the time Eristalis transversa is an egg to the time it molts into an adult in the spring, the life cycle is established within 16 to 28 days (Berry 1998).

What is the difference between male and female hover fly? One of the physical features that distinguish a female from a male hover fly is their eyes. Not only do male hover flies have bigger eyes, but their eyes are almost touching (Microscopy U.K. 2007). In the midsection of the male head, in-between the compound eyes, there is a triangle shaped vertex. Female hover flies have eyes that are further apart; therefore, there is a bigger gap between the compound eyes and there is no triangle vertex visible.



Explore some of the interactions between the hover fly and its environment: Interactions