Hoverfly (Mosca-das-flores)

From another angle

Scientific name: Episyrphus balteatus

Parque da Cidade (Guimarães – Portugal)

“Mosca das flores” – Parque da Cidade

Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprotrophs, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects.

Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year; because of this, aphid-feeding hoverflies are being recognized as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control. Some adult syrphid flies are important pollinators.

About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described. Hoverflies are common throughout the world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Hoverflies are harmless to most other animals despite their mimicry of the black and yellow stripes of wasps, which serves to ward off predators.

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Sirfídeos (da família Syrphidae), também conhecidos como moscas-das-flores constituem uma família de moscas (ordem Diptera) que, tal como o nome sugere, são encontradas, geralmente, junto a flores, onde estes insectos, na sua forma adulta, se alimentam de néctar e de pólen.

As larvas têm vários tipos de alimentação, consoante à espécie: algumas são saprófitas, alimentando-se de plantas e animais em decomposição, ou em locais alagadiços; outras são insectívoras, tomando como presas afídios, tripes e outros insectos que parasitam e sugam a seiva das plantas. Por esta razão, os sirfídeos são reconhecidos como um importante meio ecológico de controlo de pragas na agricultura.

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