Monday, August 07, 2017

Syrphid Fly Scouting Place to Lay Eggs

In my recent post on aphids and their predators, I shared photos of two types of syrphid fly larvae that I am seeing.  A few days later I was lucky enough to get this photograph of an adult syrphid fly, looking for a place to lay eggs on my milkweed.

If you click on the photo, you can see the details that are not apparent in the smaller image imbedded in the text here.  Note the aphids at the base of the flower cluster?  There aren't a lot and I didn't see the female syrphid fly lay any eggs, so she may have decided that she needed to look for more populous aphid clusters.

Going by the Latin name of Ocyptamus fuscipennis, there is no common name for this syrphid fly.  I am pretty sure that this is the adult form of the "gray slug" syrphid fly larva that I see munching on oleander aphids. 


Here is a closeup of this individual....



(Note:  I have not raised an individual from larva to adult to know for sure, but this is both the most common syrphid fly that I see laying eggs on the milkweed and the most common adult syrphid fly larvae that I see.  Others have raised this species from larva to adult, and the larva does look very similar to this.)

What predators are you seeing munching on YOUR aphids?!

6 comments:

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Cool! I looked the other day, and saw some very small dark colored things there. I don't know what they were, but I'm thinking they had wings. I'll have to look again.

Joan said...

Amazing photos.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Thank you, Joan!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Sue, Have you seen any predators on the aphids beyond the aphid mummies (that signify parasitic wasps have found your aphid population)?

bittster said...

Always fascinating!
Syrphid flies are my new favorites, the wet summer seems to have brought them out in abundance, and they and the lacewings must be doing quite the number on my aphid population... I rarely see any!

Gaia Gardener: said...

I still get cycles of aphid populations, but right now they are almost entirely gone. I NEVER spray - water, let alone chemicals - anymore. Glad you're seeing a lot of both kinds of predators.