hoverfly

(Pipiza spp.)

Overview
hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
 

Pipiza is a genus of small black hoverflies. There are 52 Pipiza species worldwide, 11 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 3 species in Minnesota.

Adults are found flying around shrubs and through low plants. They feed on flower nectar and pollen. Larvae are predaceous. They feed on aphids and phylloxera.

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

An important identification feature of “higher Diptera”, those in the suborder Brachycera, is the postpronotal lobes. Hoverflies in the subfamily Syrphinae have no hairs on the postpronotal lobes. The back of the head is strongly concave and tightly appressed to the thorax. On the male the eyes meet at the top of the head. When viewed from above, the male has five visible abdominal segments.

Hoverflies in the tribe Pipizini have a hairy, evenly rounded face. There are never unbroken yellow or other shining bands across the abdomen.

Pipiza are dark, small to medium-sized hoverflies. The face is flattened and does not have small rounded bumps (tubercles). It is as wide or wider below, at the sides of the mouth, than above, at the antennae. The antennae are shorter than the head. The wings are short and wide. On the hind leg, the third segment (femur) is slender and slightly enlarged at the tip (apex).

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

Telford, Horace S.. (1939). The syrphidae of Minnesota. University of Minnesota. Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

 
  1/11/2021      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

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

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  Section Aschiza  
 

Superfamily

Syrphoidea  
 

Family

Syrphidae (hover flies)  
 

Subfamily

Syrphinae  
 

Tribe

Pipizini  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

ebony pithead (Pipiza atrata)

four-spotted pithead (Pipiza quadrimaculata)

large-legged pithead (Pipiza macrofemoralis)

sumac gall pithead (Pipiza puella)

white-haired pithead (Pipiza femoralis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This genus has no common name. The common name for the family Syrphidae is hover flies, and is used here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)   hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)
       
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Alfredo Colon
6/8/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)


     
     
 
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