Hover fly







Often called syrphid flies.


There are many species of varying sizes but they all have the characteristic black-and-yellow-banded body. They can be mistaken for wasps, and do in fact mimic them. However, they have a flatter abdomen and don’t have a ‘waist’ between the thorax and abdomen. They also have two wings, whereas wasps and bees have four. Wasps often have black dots along their abdomen. Their ability to hover (hence the name) and dart around flowers makes them easy to identify. The larvae are 8-10mm in size, legless and maggot-like, and can be green or brown.

Adult size: 8-10 mm

Out and about

They are most numerous during summer and autumn when aphids are about. They are found all over the world except in Antarctica. They are common throughout Australia apart from desert areas. Hover flies live in most habitats.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The eggs are white and oval-shaped, laid singly or in small clusters within or near aphid infestations. Females will overwinter if temperatures are low.

To deter

To control

Plants to repel

Plants to attract

White and yellow yarrow / Alyssum / Caraway Chamomile / Chives / Dwarf marigold / Daisy family (Coreopsis) / Coriander / White cosmos / Dill / Fennel Feverfew / Candytuft (Iberis umbellate) / Lavender Statice / Lupin / Nasturtium / Parsley / Queen Anne’s lace Thyme / Zinnia / Pincushion flower / Buckwheat / Alyssum Lemon balm / Pennyroyal / Spearmint / Wild bergamot


Why they are Beneficial
The larvae feed on aphids, mealy bugs, white fly, greenfly, grasshopper nymphs and other insect larvae. Some species feed on decaying plant or animal matter. Adults feed primarily on pollen and nectar and are thus important pollinators.