Hover flies Insect are common visitors to garden flowers. Many people mistake some of the commonest species for bees. Milesia crabroniformis is found in southern europe and the mediterranean region, body length 0.9-1 inches (23-27 mm). The drone fly, eristalis tenax,is an important pollinator, with worldwide distribution. Body length 0.5-0.6 inches (12-15 mm).
Common name: hover flies (flower flies)
Number of species: about 6,000 (around 950 u.s.)
Size: from about 0.2 in (5 mm) to 1 in (2.5 cm).
Key features: body often striped, mimicking bees or wasps; mouthparts adapted for sucking up nectar; eyes quite large
Habits: sun loving; visit flowers; often form large swarms; usually spend much of their time in hovering flight, sometimes for no obvious reason
Breeding: hovering males attract females, or males may seek out females on foliage and hover over them; eggs laid in various places depending on food requirements of larvae
Diet: adults are nectar feeders; some species also feed on pollen; larvae carnivorous or feed on vegetable matter
Habitat: almost anywhere with flowers from which they can feed
Distribution: worldwide, including the tropics, but at their greatest numbers in temperate zones.
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