T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Hover) Genus: Platycheirus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Infraorder: Muscomorpha
Family: Syrphidae
Subfamily: Syrphinae
Genus: Platycheirus

Platycheirus is a large genus of hoverflies. 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 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 and hence are beneficial agents in their biological control.

This fly was photographed feeding on the flowers of Chamelaucium uncinatu (Geraldton wax flower) in the Tupare Gardens, New Plymouth.