hoverfly

(Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

hoverfly (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

 

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Fairly common

Flight/Season

Late May to early August

Habitat

Damp forests and swamps

Size

Total Length: ½ to

          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

Chalcosyrphus chalybeus is a large, wasp mimicking hoverfly. It is found in North America east of the Great Plains. It is said to be common but there are relatively few reported observations. This may be due to the appearance and behavior, both of which mimic blue mud wasps.

Adults are ½ to in length. The upper (dorsal) side of the thorax is iridescent bluish-black and shiny. It may appear black, blue, or purple, depending on the angle of the light. It is covered with short black hairs and has some longer white hairs in the shoulder (humeral) area. The sides of the thorax are black. On the underside, the plate covering the last segment (metasternum), the segment bearing the hind legs, is covered with hairs.

The abdomen is metallic bluish-black to black and is covered with short black hairs.

The head is black with some white hairs. The face is concave. The female has white markings on the face. On the male the large compound eyes meet at the top of the head but before the three simple eyes (ocelli). The antennae are short and black. The third segment is wider and is longer than the remaining segments combined.

The legs are completely black and are covered with short, bristly, black hairs. The third segment (femur) on the hind leg is large and flattened. The fourth segment (tibia) of the hind leg is slightly curved.

The wings are brownish-black and iridescent. In some light, they appear mostly blue with purple at the tip and along the inside margin.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Rotting dead wood

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

It flicks its wings when at rest, mimicking the behavior of a wasp.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.


Comments

No Common Name
No species in this genus has a common name, nor does the genus itself. The common name for the family is hover flies, and is applied here for the sake of convenience.


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 (circular-seamed flies)

 

Section:

Aschiza

 

Superfamily:

Syrphoidea

 

Family:

Syrphidae (hover flies)

 

Subfamily:

Eristalinae

 

Tribe:

Milesiini

 

Subtribe:

Xylotina

 

Genus:

Chalcosyrphus

 

Subgenus:

Xylotomima

 
Synonyms

Syrphus violascens

Xylota purpurea

 
Common
Names

no common name


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

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.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Alfredo Colon


... was flapping its wings like a wasp

  hoverfly (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)    

       
       
       

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Alfredo Colon
6/15/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

... was flapping its wings like a wasp

hoverfly (Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)


     
     
 

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