What is a Syrphidae?

Meaning of the word "Syrphidae"

First of all the word "Syrphidae" is the scientific (Latin) name for one fly family. In English also known as a Hoverfly (UK) or Flower fly (US) (see below for more translations). Hoverflies use mimicry to hide from their enemies (mostly birds or other insects but also from you...). It is therefore that Hoverflies are quickly mistaken for wasps, bees or bumblebees. The below images gives you an illustration of that effect:

Other insects:BumblebeeWaspWasp
Hoverflies:Pocota personataVolucella zonariaChrysotoxum bicinctum

How to see if it is a Syrphidae?

In the field you can quickly see if its a Syrphidae due to its flying behaviour. In general (there are always exeptions) when you see a wasp, bee or bumble bee flying "Hovering" in one spot in the air this is most probably just an hoverfly. Wasps, bees and bumblebees are not so athletic in the air. Also intresting to know: Hoverflies do NOT STING you!
The real prove is in the wing where there is an unused vein called "Vena spuria":

Hoverflies do size from 3 mm to 25 mm. In colour Hoverflies look sometimes yellow, orange, red, brown, metallic or black and any combination in between. They can also look slim and bold or fat and hairy. Because of this variety it is why this group is so attractive to work on and is studied very well over the past centuries. The first species where scientifically described in by Linnaeus in 1758. Currently there are around 6000 different hoverfly species described but a lot still needs to be discovered.

Live cycle


Eggs are very small (>1mm) and ovipositioned by the females close to where the larvae can feed.


When the larvae emerge from the egg (in a few days) they will search for food nearby. Syrphids larvae have different live styles. The period of feeding is very broad. From a month till a few years

Where scientifically in our tree of life can we find the Syrphidae flies?

? extra terastial life
Life on earth
Eukaryota (Plants, organisms, animals)
Metazoa (all Animals)
Bilateria (Animals except jellyfish like animals)
Arthropoda (Insects, spiders, crabs, etc.)
Hexapoda (insects, springtails, diplurans and proturans)
Insecta (insects)
Pterygota (winged insects)
Neoptera (bugs, beetles, wasps, moths, flies, etc.)
Endopterygota (Insects with complete metamorphosis.)
Diptera (2 winged insects)
(source: Tree of life)

How do you call a Syrphid in your country?

BelgiumZweefvliegenSouth Korea꽃등에과
Czech RepublicPestřenkovitíthe NetherlandsZweefvliegen
FinlandKukkakärpäsetPortugalMosca das flores
Iranianمگسهاي گلSpainSírfidos
IsraelרחפנייםUnited KingdomHoverflies
ItalySirfidiUSAFlower flies
Japanハナアブ科VietnamRuồi giả ong