The Garden's Beneficial Insects: Hover Flies

The Backyard Jungle column helps you discover which insects are friend or foe. Get to know one of the beneficial insects: hover flies.



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Is this a bumblebee or a hover fly? The answer is found by looking at the antennae.
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The sluglike larva of a hover fly—like a wolf among sheep—searches for a fat aphid to satisfy its voracious appetite.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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A garden-variety hover fly lays its eggs near a colony of aphids. Note that the insect bears a striking resemblance to a wasp.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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The adult Eristalis hover fly. The insect's resemblance to the common honeybee is every bit as functional as it is remarkable.
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