The hover fly is native to North America, and is part of the Syrphidae family. Their name refers to their behaviour of hovering and darting among wild flowers throughout the summer. A wide variety of syrphid flies can be seen in North America, but they almost all share the black and yellow or black and orange colouring. Hover flies are small to medium in size. They have a narrow waist like a wasp and mimic the stinging action of a wasp, but cannot actually sting and are harmless.
The female hover fly usually lays her eggs near aphid colonies, or depending on the species, the eggs can also be laid in bumblebee nests or in muddy water. The fly larvae feed on insect pests. Hover fly larvae mainly feed on aphids, as well as scales and caterpillars. Aphids cause annual damage to crops and plants, making the hover flies important agents in natural biological control.
Hover flies are very effective as pollinators. They tend to visit the same type of flowers in succession. These flies have long tongues, and because of their small size they can easily enter a flower, or push back petals to have better access to the nectar and pollen. They are most active around flowers at the beginning of July.