Meet a Critter: Palpada pusilla – Syrphid Fly

 

Syrphid fly
Palpada pusilla pollinating Florida Native Wildlime (Zanthoxylum fagara)

Like bees, pollinating flies are beneficial. The Flower Flies, in the family Syrphidae (Syrphid), play an important outstanding role among all the flower flies. Some species of Syrphid Fly larvae feed on aquatic debris, rotting vegetation, moist or wet wood and bulbs of forbs of living plants, but most are predatory and several Syrphid species are important in controlling aphids or scale. This is nature’s pest control. Syrphid Fly larvae that live in water that contains a significant amount of decaying organic matter are sometimes referred to as “Rat-tailed Maggots” that have a long anal breathing tube allowing for survival. Some might not realize the importance of Diptera (flies) as pollinators and they are largely ignored when compared to other pollinators such as larger bees or butterflies. Syrphid flies do a double duty as pollinators while playing an important role in biological control.

Syrphid Fly1
Palpada pusilla pollinating Florida native Wildlime (Zanthoxylum fagara)

 

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