Hoverflies and Other Flies

 

Best described as "Ocassional Pollinators" nonetheless they are impotant in their own right.

Lacking the appendages, or need to collect pollen, they focus solely on the consumption of nectar and pollen from flowers visited. They will visit flowers for nectar  that have shallow nectaries not having the long proboscis appendage to access the deeper nectaries on some flower types. Of course in this process they will often carry pollen on their body parts and inadvertently end up pollinating the flowers they visit. 

Some do resemble bees in markings and coloration but are distinguishable by various characteristics. Hover flies like all other flies, have only two wings unlike a bee that has four, they have much larger compound eyes taking up much of their head space. Another distinguishing feature of many Hover flies and other flies is that the mouth parts are very different, not having the mandibles like bees for chewing, in their place, there is a mop‐like structure through which these insects sop up much of their food.

They can be seen often of course on flowers and also on leaves mopping up honeydew or pollen grains dislodged.

Also fascinating in their varied forms and use at times of "Mimcry" to pretend to be something they are not.

 

What do you do if you are a harmless little with no sting and no other means to defend yourself ? Evolve to look like a formidable stinging wasp of course !. 

 

Many species are very useful to the gardener since their larvae eat pest aphids on garden plants and many crops. It has yet to be ascertained the degree to which they contribute to pollination but no doubt they play some role in this as visiting flower after flower they would surely inadvertently transfer pollen on their body parts. Though again, unlike Bees they are not specialized in Pollen collection so would not be as efficient at pollination. 

 

Pellucid Hoverfly Volucella pellucens
?? Fly ??
Common Green Bottle Fly Lucilia sericata
Sun Fly Helophilus pendulus

Sun Fly Helophilus pendulus

©2016 By Leinster Honey.