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Posts Tagged ‘family Syrphidae’

Several years ago, when I first started getting serious about photography, I probably would have called the insect in the photo a bee. My choices back then were simple—a black and yellow insect was either a bee or a yellowjacket. Now that I know a whole lot more about insects, I can readily identify the insect as a hoverfly (also referred to as flower fly) from the Syrphidae family.

When I spotted the hoverfly yesterday, I was struck by the way that its colors matched almost perfect those of the black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) that were growing in abundance at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge.

hover fly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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While I was hunting for dragonflies the past Friday at Meadowood Recreation Area in Lorton, Virginia, I managed to get this shot of a hoverfly (family Syrphidae) on what I was told was blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium) by some folks conducting a wildlife survey.

I had no idea what blue-eyed grass was, so I turned to the internet when I got home. It turns out that blue-eyed grass is not actually a grass, but a perennial plant of the iris family, and sometimes it is not blue. According to Wikipedia, the genus of blue-eyed grasses includes up to 200 species that may have blue, white, yellow, or purple petals.

hoverfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As the days grow colder, I am trying to capture images of almost any insect that I can find.

I was particularly happy this weekend when I came across this little flower fly (also called a hoverfly or syrphid fly) on a beautiful reddish-purple leaf. The leaf made for a simple backdrop that lets you see some of the details of the fly’s body, including the incredible compound eyes and the antennae.

I was also pleased that the out-of-focus area behind the lead is a orange-red color that seems appropriate for this autumn season.

flower fly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I used to think that all black-and-yellow insects circling around flowers were bees, but quickly learned that many of them are flower flies (also known as hoverflies). There are a lot of different varieties of flower flies, but I think that they all belong to the Syrphidae family.

Yesterday when I was visiting Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland, I managed to capture this image of a flower fly just as it had inserted its head into a small purple flower. It’s a pretty simple composition, but I really like the way that it turned out, with a good amount of detail on the fly’s body.

hover fly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Hoverflies normally are as busy as bees, in constant motion as they move from flower to flower. From time to time, though, I guess that they need to rest. Earlier this week, I captured this image of  a hoverfly relaxing on the dried out leaf of a cattail at my local marshland park.

hoverflyA_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Today there seemed to be a lot of small hover flies buzzing around the flowers, so I decided to try to get a shot of one of them. As their name suggests, these flies spend much of their time hovering, but fortunately they land sometimes, which gave me a chance to get an image of a hover fly.

Hover flies, which are also known as flower flies and syrphid flies,  are part of the insect family Syrphidae. There are quite a few different species of hover flies and I find it difficult to tell them apart, so I’ll merely identify this one as a hover fly.

hoverfly_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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