Syrphid Flies

Order: Diptera
Family: Syrphidae


Syrphid flies, also called hover flies or flower flies are brightly colored yellow or orange and black, and mimic bees or yellow-jackets. However, syrphid flies are harmless to people, and the larval (maggot) stage preys on some pest insects, particularly aphids. The larvae of syrphid flies are light colored and tapered at the ends. They lack eyes or legs. Larvae of syrphid flies are important in suppressing aphid infestations.


Syrphid fly larva eating aphid.

Cheryl Moorehead, 
Syrphid fly larva eating aphid.

Syrphid fly adult resting on a leaf

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Syrphid fly adult resting on a leaf. 

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden. 
  • These beneficial flies can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps.
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites.