ONH

  • 1590949
  • 1523
  • 2148
  • 1170017
  • 3742
  • 6178
  • 3024
  • microdon
  • 4543
  • 1590949
    1 - A small flower fly hovering.

    07/18/2017 Sunrise Ridge Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 1523
    2 - A flower fly on an Entire-leaved Gumweed flower.

    08/06/2006 Blue Mountain/Deer Park, Olympic National Park

  • 2148
    3 - This flower fly resembles a honey bee. It’s on a buttercup.

    06/03/2005Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 1170017
    4 - Flower fly.

    10/05/2013 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 3742
    5 - A flower fly hovering over a native rose.

    06/06/2008 Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Washington

  • 6178
    6 - A flower fly on a native rose.

    05/26/2006 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 3024
    7 - This flower fly fell prey to a Goldenrod Crab Spider on an oxeye daisy.

    07/13/2005 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • microdon
    8 - Some syrphids have odd-looking larvae, for example, these Microdon larvae and pupa found in a log with carpenter ant chambers.

    06/07/2008 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 4543
    9 - Syrphid flies have a characteristic wing vein pattern with a so-called spurious vein.

    Specimen collected Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

Flower flies, or hover flies, family Syrphidae, are common and abundant during warm weather. Many appear to mimic bees or wasps, but vary tremendously in that mimicry. Some can fool even an experienced human, at a distance at least. Others look like ordinary dark flies. To get a really good idea of the astounding variety of syrphid mimicry, see syrphids on bugguide.net.

If you get a sharp photo, or use butterfly binoculars, you can recognize a syrphid fly by the spurious vein in its wing (slide 9). If you see a syrphid holding just a little too still, look for a crab spider (slide 7).

We have documented a few individual species on separate pages. See menu.