hoverfly

(Pipiza spp.)

               
Overview

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.

hoverfly (Pipiza sp.)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
Identification

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.

 
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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)

sumac gall pithead (Pipiza puella)

large-legged pithead (Pipiza macrofemoralis)

four-spotted pithead (Pipiza quadrimaculata)

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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