Diptera

Syrphidae

Hoverflies

Hoverflies are a conspicuous group.  Look at any patch of flowers in late spring or summer and you will have a high chance of seeing at least one species either feeding on the pollen and nectar, resting, or hovering motionless in the air close-by.  Many species have courtship and territorial behaviours that involve the males displaying remarkably precise flying manoeuvres.  In some, the male that is able to demonstrate its superior ability in hovering motionless, holding its position precisely in air while correcting for breezes and air currents, is more likely to attract the females and to hold the most desirable territories. As a group, hoverflies are generally regarded as beneficial insects with many adults being important pollinators and in some cases the pollen load attached to the hairs on their bodies is at least equal to that of bees.  Many also have larvae that are voracious predators of agricultural and horticultural pests.