The Atavism

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Spinelessness - Hover-flies

We are starting to get that feeling in Dunedin, the days are getting shorter and cooler, and we can't enjoy a sunny weekend without wondering how long it will be until we see another one. So, to cheer me up, let's use this post to celebrate a group of very summery insects, the hover-flies (family Syrphidae) .


Hover-flies rank alongside bees, both honey and bumble, as the most frequent visitors to garden flowers during summer. Thankfully for me, hover-flies don't limit themselves to well tended gardens, they are just as likely to brighten up weed infested patches:



Plenty of other flies can hover, but hover-flies make an art of it. You'll often see them suspended above a flower, their wings beating to fast to see and their heads completely motionless. As this stunning photo from wikipedia user Fir002 (whose other photos can seen here) shows, hover-flies can do all sorts of things in mid air:

(image licensed under the GFDL)

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Posted by David Winter 9:30 AM


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