American hover fly

(Eupeodes americanus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

American hover fly

 

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and very common

Flight/Season

Two generations: April to May and September to October

Habitat

Meadows, weedy fields

Size

Total Length: ¼ to 7 16 (7 to 11 mm)

Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

American hover fly is a small, wasp-mimic, syrphid fly. It is widespread across North and Central America and very common in much of the United States, including Minnesota.

Adults are ¼ to 7 16 (7 to 11 mm) long. Females of this species cannot be distinguished from Eupeodes fumipennis and E. pomus.

The head is wider than the thorax. There are two large compound eyes on the sides of the head and and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle on top of the head. The compound eyes are bare, with no erect hairs. On the male they meet at the top of the head. On the female they do not. The face is mostly yellow but has a brown to black stripe in the middle and a small brown spot above each antenna. The protruding mouthpart (proboscis) is short and fleshy. The antennae are short and have just three segments. On the third segment there is a stiff, forward-pointing bristle (arista).

The thorax is large, shiny, and black. It is covered with short, erect, yellow hairs, densely on the sides, sparsely above. The exoskeletal plate between the wing bases (scutellum) is large, rounded, dull yellow, and translucent. It is covered with pale yellow hairs above and has a moderately dense fringe on the rear margin.

The abdomen is longer and broader than the thorax, oval when viewed from above, and nearly flat when viewed from the side. It is black with bright yellow markings. There are five visible segments. On the male, segment 1 is very narrow and entirely black. Segment 2 has a pair of large spots that almost reach the margins. On most individual the spots are distinctly separated in the middle. On some individuals, they meet in the middle. Segments 3 and 4 each have a broad yellow band that does not quite reach the margins. The forward margin of the band is nearly straight, the rear margin is nearly straight or shallowly concave in the middle. Segment 4 has a broad stripe on the rear margin. Segment 5 is yellow with a narrow black band.

The legs are mostly yellow and brownish-yellow. The first segment of each leg (coxa) is black. The base of the third segment (femur) of the front and middle legs is black. The femur on the hind leg is slender, not thickened.

The wings are clear. There is a spurious vein between the radius (R) and media (M) veins. The anal cell is long and is closed near the wing margin. The marginal, R5, and M2 cells are also closed. The R4+5 vein is nearly straight.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Aphids

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)

 

Suborder:

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)

 

Infraorder:

Muscomorpha

  no rank:

Eremoneura

  no rank:

Cyclorrhapha

 

no rank:

Aschiza

 

Superfamily:

Syrphoidea

 

Family:

Syrphidae (hover flies)

 

Subfamily:

Syrphinae

 

Tribe:

Syrphini

 

Genus:

Eupeodes

 

Subgenus:

Eupeodes

 
Subordinate Taxa

 

 
Synonyms

Syrphus americanus

Syrphus canadensis

Syrphus lebanoensis

Syrphus medius

Syrphus wiedemanni

 
Common
Names

American hover fly

American hoverfly


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Arista

A large bristle on the upper side of the third segment of the antenna of a fly.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Proboscis

The protruding mouthpart(s) of a sucking insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

Alfredo Colon


  American hover fly    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  syrphid fly (Eupeodes [americanus/pomus group])
Bill Keim
 
  syrphid fly (Eupeodes [americanus/pomus group])  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  American hoverfly (Eupeodes americanus) Working
Nature's Wild Things
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 4, 2017

American Hoverfly (Eupeodes americanus)
Working
Video 30 sec long 100% Speed - Audio None
Cabarrus County, North Carolina, United States
Photo Walk - 10-14-2016

 
     
  AMERICAN HOVER-FLY IN SLOW MOTION
R JOHN
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 14, 2015

AMERICAN HOVER-FLY IN SLOW MOTION

 
     
  Metasyrphus americanus (drone fly, American hover fly) foraging, 8/24/13, MD
metapathogen
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 8, 2013

Metasyrphus americanus (drone fly, American hover fly) foraging, 8/24/13, MD

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Report a sighting of this insect.

Alfredo Colon
7/23/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

American hover fly


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

 


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2019 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.