Black scavenger 1 lies

Also known as ensign flies due to the fact that males signal to females by waving their wings, most of these flies are shiny black or brownish, and males often have dark wingtips. Some small species are antlike. The front legs of males arc modified with bristles and spines so that they can grip the wings of females before and during mating.

• I JFK CY(:i ,K Kggs are laid and the slim larvae are found - in mammals' dung, compost, and rotting meat on carcasses. Larvae may occur in huge numbers.

• OC(:i JRRENC :K Worldwide. In a \\ ide range of habitats, on flowers and around dung or decaying organic matter.

• K KM ARK Some form huge swarms on plants at the end of the summer. It is thought that they mark places they have been with special odors and find them again after hibernation, when mating wingtips » -tinged weakly with brown

I ,AKVAI<; are narrow and taper toward the front. The last abdominal segment is swollen.

I ,AKVAI<; are narrow and taper toward the front. The last abdominal segment is swollen.

A NEMOEODA NmniJlA has an abdomen that narrows where it joins the thorax, giving a slightly wasplike appearance.

long, slender legs with • strong bristles orygma euctl/osa is found in the Northern I lemisphere. This large species lays its eggs on rotting seaweed along shorelines.

stout hindlegs wingtips » -tinged weakly with brown

constricted abdomen

A NEMOEODA NmniJlA has an abdomen that narrows where it joins the thorax, giving a slightly wasplike appearance.

stout hindlegs long, slender legs with • strong bristles orygma euctl/osa is found in the Northern I lemisphere. This large species lays its eggs on rotting seaweed along shorelines.

Length yl6-»/4¡n (2-6mm)

Larval feeding habits ^ ^^

Order |)IPTERA

Family STRATIOMY1DAK

No. of species 2 ()()()

rounded head very large eyes

Soldier flies

Most of these flies arc quite stout and slightly flat, with bright or metallic markings. Some arc fairly large and wasplike. The broad abdomen is typically banded yellow, black, or green, while the head is very rounded. In males, the head is largely covered by the eyes. Certain species arc aquatic.

• I JFK CY< J ,K Kggs arc laid on the surface of water, on plants, or in dung, leaf litter, soil, or rotten wood. Most larvae cat rotting matter or the larvae of flies and bark beetles.

• ()(]Cl JRRKNCK Worldwide. In a wide variety of habitats, often at flowers. Some aquatic species can even survive in hot springs or very salty water.

I , \RVAF arc toughened and flat, with many short bristles.

rounded head

III DR/Oniscrs I'll.CHER is a native of South America. It has green coloration and distinctive markings.

« two-colored mat kings on thorax and abdomen very large eyes

i lover flilis

Family SYRIMIIDAK

No. of species ^ qqq large eyes of males usually meet on top of head

blaek-and-yellow legs small, dark wing patches broad wedges of yellow at each side of abdomen

short antennae round head front of wings eyes in females well separated <

distinct broad yellow bands

rear of wings pale, with false margin

Also called flower flics, these flics are highly distinctive because they hover and dart between flowers. Many species arc quite slender and wasplike, with yellow stripes, spots, or bands; others are stout, hairy, and beelike. Some are black, blue, or metallic. A false vein runs down the center of the wings, which also have false margins.

• I JFK CYCLE Kggs are laid where the larvae feed (see below). Adults feed on pollen and nectar but the larvae have diverse feeding habits. The larvae of many hover flics eat huge numbers of aphids during the course of their development. Other predatory species attack scale insects, sawfly larvae, and soft-bodied insects. Some larvae feed in or on decaying wood, dung, mud, or stagnant water, and a few feed on plants or fungi. Certain larvae live inside the nests of bees and social wasps, where they eat the dead larvae and pupae of their hosts.

• OCCl JKKENCF Worldwide. In a variety of habitats, usually on flat-topped flowers.

• REMARK. Although a few herbivorous species are pests in bulbs, most arc important plant pollinators.

s pr/com y1a sua. n'l'l s is found on acid heathland. The larvae of this species live in boggy pools such as those that form after cutting peat.

large eyes of males usually meet on top of head

I. ARVAH are variable in form. Those that live in water or liquid manure typically have a breathing tube at the rear.

short antennae

ASyrphus rihi.sii is a common, wasplike species found in Europe. It often gathers in large numbers, and its larvae eat greenflies.

blaek-and-yellow legs round head eyes in females well separated <

small, dark wing patches broad wedges of yellow at each side of abdomen

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