Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Count Yourself Lucky


To Have Amazing Hovering Pollinating Flower Flies In Your Garden!

Toxomerus marginatu is the official name of the Hover Fly that's hanging out on the daylily in the Garden Of Benign Neglect!

I am thrilled to have him, and I do think it's a male Hover Fly. While hovering and visiting my flowers for nectar and pollen he will do his pollinating best!

Even out pollinating the native bee populations in some ecosystems! Part of the Family Syrphidae --they are commonly called Hover Flies, Flower Flies, Syrphid Flies, Drone Flies
But, bee not afraid~~these guys are neither bees or wasps, but mimic both and are quite sting less! They do however produce offspring with a voracious appetite for aphids and other soft bodied pests!
Lucky for you...I don't have a photo or video of the "larvae moving along plant surfaces, lifting their heads to grope for prey, seizing them and sucking them dry and discarding the skins....a single syrphid larva can consume hundreds of aphids in a month." It's image producing enough for me reading what I just typed! (go here for more)

Plant lots of host plants (alyssums, marigolds, cilantro, phacelia, yarrow, agastache and fennel) to encourage hover flies to visit and reproduce in your garden.

You won't be sorry!

Gail

34 comments:

  1. Gail,

    Thank you for writing about these flies! I didn't know what was buzzing a few inches above the ground all over the top of my butterfly garden. They were in the area with bronze fennel, agastache, yarrow and verbena. I thought they were little wasps.

    An enlightening post!
    Cameron

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  2. Golden yellow is one of my favorite colors! I've been seeing these hover flies, I had no idea what they were though! I thought they were tiny wasps. I won't be a afraid of them anymore!

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  3. I have these busy little flies in my garden too. They are fun to watch. I also have those tiny glittery green/yellow flies too. So many interesting bugs in the garden.

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  4. Ah, so *that's* what those things like look kind of like bees not not like bees are: hover flies. Thanks!

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  5. Hover flies? Plueeze! I'm not counting myself lucky such a piffling thing like that but I am for my all dancing all singing hedge trimmer and no, you can't have it because I'm still testing it. I know, it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. ;-)

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  6. I always wondered about them. I've been wanting to plant fennel for the butterflies, this is just another confirmation I need to do it. I support any enemy of aphids.:-)--Randy

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  7. They are pretty cool...and most of the hovering flies in the garden are tiny little pollinators...Those soft bodied flying bugs usually stay very near the plants they are trying to consume...I am thinking of the true bugs like Lopidea davisi/Phlox bug...my summer enemy! gail

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  8. The Queen Anne's Lace is covered with them. There is no message more welcome than a "be not afraid" message. Thaks, Gail

    -Tina

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  9. Hi Gail, thanks for great info for the day. Nice to learn something new each day. Will have to be more aware of what is buzzing around when I am outside in the garden.

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  10. Neat Gail! I think we have a few hovering around our 'Moonbeam' Coreopsis!

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  11. We have so many bees and flies around our gardens. Sounds like a bee concert out there some days!

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  12. Fabulous shots, Gail! And thanks for the info on these guys. I will be on the lookout for them, but with so many little buzzers around, it is difficult to ID them. Maybe when you come to visit....
    Frances

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  13. Love your post. I've wanted to do a blog about predator wasps but can't ever seem to get good photos. Wish more people were aware that hosting these little guys can eliminate the use of poisons in the garden.
    Marnie

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  14. Good morning, Gail! Cheryl has posted photos of these many times on her blog, but I really wasn't sure what they were. Thanks for all this helpful information. Now I'm going outside with my camera to see if I have any flying about.

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  15. Gail, I just went out to take a few pictures of the garden. I thought I saw some hoverflies around the coneflowers, but couldn't get any photos of them. Are they quite small? When I downloaded my photos, I discovered that one I took of a new daylily has a perfect hoverfly on one of the petals! LOL, my best photos are sometimes just dumb luck:)

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  16. I don't think I've ever seen these. How do you get so close to get those photos? They are wonderful.

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  17. Rose, They are small and that is wonderful that you captured one 'accidentally'...I have these happy accidents all the time!

    Phillip, I shoot on super macro and crop like the dickens! Thanks!

    Gail

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  18. Dear Gail,
    So glad you captured this little fellow for all to see. I so enjoyed seeing these everywhere in the veggie garden this spring. What a treat they are... Thanks.

    Your day lily and fly are quite lovely. I'm sure those little guys are taking refuge in your beautiful space.
    Meems

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  19. I long have wondered what were those tiny bees that pollinate the Sweet Alyssum. I'm surprised to learn it's not a bee at all. Thanks for the education.

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  20. Hi Gail....I love hoverflies and have lots here....they are indeed the gardeners friend.....

    I love your photograph, perfect.

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  21. Thanks for the info Gail - it's good to know what they are. There are so many insects I'm curious to identify, now there's one less on the long list!

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  22. Such beautiful flies (that sounds like a strange thing to say, doesn't it lol).

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  23. I love them but they bite me--no kidding. They are territorial. I got too close to one of their beloved plants in my yard--the lavender cotton--and they came after me. They were fussing and biting the back of my legs. It stung but I put up with it ;)

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  24. I was thinking to myself, "boy I hope I have some of those in my garden" until you got to that graphic description!! Very interesting Gail. I'm going to have to take note and see if I can count myself among the lucky to have them in my garden. :-)

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  25. I am not often envious of a fly, but I would love to be that one in the close up. Beautiful photos!

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  26. Well I better go plants some more as any fly that produces larva that eat aphids is a good thing for sure.

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  27. Wow Gail ... I have tons of 'Hovering Pollinating Flower Flies' in my garden but never knew their name or the huge benefit. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge and fine photos. Happy July!

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  28. Very informative post. I always wondered what these were. -Jackie

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  29. I am glad you all appreciate a bug on a flower as much as I do! They aren't as wonderful as flowers, but without these little bugs the agricultural and horticultural industry might be in trouble! gail

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  30. It is a grand thing to watch all the pollinators. truly one of the joys oaf gardening.

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  31. Hi Gail;

    Thanks for this post and hover fly pictures. I have been planting dill seed all over the place so we can have an even bigger population of aphid eaters. On occassion I also see some yellow swallowtail butterflies competing for egg laying space.

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener
    http://thevermontgardener.blogspot.com
    Vermont Flower Farm
    http:///vermontflowerfarm.com

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  32. I've had several kinds of bees and wasps on my blooms. I may have had hover flies, too. I'll have to watch for them. Thanks for the information and awesome photos!

    I have most of the host plants on your list, so I'm in good shape there.

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  33. LOL, I already read this one and commented. I do have hover flies in the summers. I forgot how beneficial they are, so I'm glad I read it again.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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