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Idaho State University

Flies


Fly (Diptera) species use diverse array of habitats for resources. The adults of many species are predaceous while other species feed on nectar, sap, or blood. Larvae are predators, parasites, or herbivores.

Species of fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae), gall midges (Cecidomiidae), black flies/buffalo gnats (Simuliidae), midges (Chironomidae), and biting midges (Certopogonidae) commonly use flowers in the genera Achillea, Senecio, Polygonum, and Salix. Mosquitoes (Culicidae) and March flies (Bibionidae) are known to use nectar from flower species in the families of Scrophulariaceae and Asteraceae. Some bee flies (Bombyliidae) species are known to visit Viola, Primula, and Vaccinium. Species of dance flies (Empididae), Soldier flies (Stratiomyidae), spear-winged Flies (Lonchopteridae), and hump-backed flies (Phoridae) also visit flowers. Some long-legged flies (Dolichopodidae) species have been observed as frequent visitors to Palmetto flowers. Species of flower flies (Syrphidae) have been shown to visit Apiaceae, Viola, Primula, Labiatae, Scrophulariaceae, and Asteraceae. A few thick-headed fly (Conopidae) species pollinate species within Asteraceae. Tachinidae, blow flies (Calliphoridae), house/stable flies (Muscidae), and Anthomyiidae also interact with numerous flowers species.

Fly families and genera often found visiting flowering plants and their larval / adult ecology (click on insect names in table to view images if available):

FamilyGenusAdult and Larval ecology (where available)
Dolichopodidae
 
 
 
 
 
Chrysotus Herb foliage, wet banks of ponds and rivers
Dolichopus Humid habitats
Gymnopternus Humid forests
Hercostomus Humid forests and springs
Pelastoneurus Freshwater seepages, mud flats, wet soil, low vegetation
Rhaphium Riverbanks, humid forests, low vegetation
Ephyridae
Ochthera Larvae aquatic, semi-aquatic, both predators
Syrphidae
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cheilosia Larvae feed on vascular plants, fungus
Chrysotoxum  
Dasysyrphus Larvae feed on aphids on trees
Didea Larvae feed on aphids on Tilea, Platanus, Salix
Eristalis tree holes, tree wounds, rotting wood
Eupeodes Larvae feed on aphids
Heringia Stem galls, Poplar, woolly apple aphids
Hiatomyia  
Melanostoma Larvae feed on aphids
Orthonevra Larvae are aquatic
Paragus Larvae feed on aphids
Parasyrphus Larvae feed on Chrysomelidae eggs, aphids
Platycheirus Larvae feed on aphids
Rhingia Larvae feed on Dung, coprophagus
Sericomyia Water with high organic content
Sphaerophoria Larvae feed on aphids, adults Polygonum, Erigonium
Syritta Larvae feed on dung, coprophagus
Syrphus Larvae feed on aphids on trees, herbs, and shrubs
Toxomerus Larvae feed on pea aphids, adults Polygonum, Erigonium
Volucella Larvae are Bombus and Vespa nest scavengers
Xylota    Larvae are saprophytic