I'm learning about hoverflies. There are so many critters that look a bit bee-like in their colouring; it's hard to tell them all apart until you look closer. Hoverflies look like bees with fly eyes and fly wings. They do a lot of pollination, because the adults eat pollen and nectar. The immature ones feed on aphids and things like that. So these are definitely good guys. :)
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
Dolichopodidae generally are small flies with large, prominent eyes and a metallic cast to their appearance, though there is considerable variation among the species. Most have long legs, though some do not.
Dolichopodidae are a family of flies ranging in size from minute to medium-sized (1mm to 9mm). They have characteristically long and slender legs, though their leg length is not as striking as in families such as the Tipulidae. Their posture often is stilt-like standing high on their legs, with the body almost erect. In colour most species have a green-to-blue metallic lustre, but various other species are dull yellow, brown or black.
Adults of the Dolichopodidae live largely in grassy places and shrubbery. The flies occur in a wide range of habitats, near water or in meadows, woodland edges and in gardens.
The adults are predators, feeding on small invertebrates including Collembola, aphids, and the larvae of Oligochaeta. Species of the genus Dolichopus commonly prey on the larvae of mosquitoes.
The larvae occupy a wide range of habitats. Many are predators of small invertebrates and generally live in moist environments such as soil, moist sand, or rotting organic matter. Genera such as Medetera live as predators under tree bark or in the tunnels of bark beetles.
It amazes me how the smallest creatures can sometimes have a huge beneficial impact, and help to keep nature in balance!
Striving to grow things as naturally, simply, and cheaply as possible!
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The predatory habits of robber flies, both as adults and larvae, tend to put them into the same “beneficial” category as lady beetles, lacewings, mantises, and assassin bugs, since they devour many pest insects, including insects that damage crops. One species is known to prey on Japanese beetles. Some, however, eat honey bees, as well as wasps and bumble bees.
I would like to have the one that preys on japanese beetles.