Syrphid flies (Syrphidae family), also known as hoverflies or flower flies, feed on nectar or pollen. They are frequently observed on flowers in subalpine and alpine ecosystems, but there is little research on their distribution or importance as pollinators. In 2014, Dr. Jessica Rykken conducted pollinator surveys in Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park Service Complex, documented 57 taxa of syrphid flies.


Syrphid Flies (Syrphidae)

Species Common name Larval habits Lewis and Clark National Historical Park North Cascades National Park Complex Olympic National Park
Blera scitula Western wood fly Saprophagous; tree holes x x
Chalcosyrphus nemorum Dusky-banded forest fly Saprophagous; decaying sap under bark x
Cheilosia tristis Pollen fly Unknown; genus is variable in habits x
Criorhina coquilletti Variable bumblefly Saprophagous; tree holes, dead wood x x
Eristalis arbustorum European drone fly* Saprophagous; wet organic material x
Eristalis hirta Hirsute drone fly Saprophagous; wet organic material x x
Eristalis tenax Drone fly* Saprophagous; wet organic material x
Hadromyia crawfordi Golden quicksilver Unknown x
Hadromyia grandis Bee-like quicksilver Unknown x
Hadromyia opaca Brassy quicksilver Unknown x
Hadromyia pulchra Yellow-shielded quicksilver Unknown x
Helophilus fasciatus Narrow-headed sunfly Saprophagous; wet organic material x x
Hiatomyia plutonia Midnight deltawing Unknown x x
Sericomyia chalcopyga Western pond fly Saprophagous; wet organic material x x
Sericomyia flagrans Spot-winged pond fly Saprophagous; wet organic material x
Sphecomyia pattoni Patton's yellowjacket fly Saprophagous; wet organic material x x
Sphegina sp. Spatulate fly Saprophagous; decaying sap under bark x
Syritta pipiens Common compost fly* Saprophagous; manure, compost x
Xylota naknek Naknek forest fly Saprophagous; decayed sap and wood x
Chrysotoxum fasciatum Western meadow fly Predator on aphids x
Chrysotoxum flavifrons Blackshield meadow fly Predator on aphids x
Chrysotoxum ventricosum Cordilleran meadow fly Predator on aphids x x
Dasysyrphus intrudens Confusing conifer fly Predator on aphids x x
Dasysyrphus venustus Transverse conifer fly Predator on aphids x
Epistrophe grossulariae Black-horned smoothtail Predator on aphids x
Eriozona laxus Black-legged gossamer Predator on aphids x x
Eupeodes fumipennis Long-tailed aphideater Predator on aphids x
Eupeodes sp. Aphideater Predator on aphids x
Fazia micrura Diamond spottail Predator on aphids x x
Eupeodes aberrantis Western loopwing aphideater Predator on aphids x
Eupeodes lapponicus Common loopwing aphideater Predator on aphids x x
Melangyna fisherii Large-spotted halfband Predator on aphids x
Melangyna labiatarum Bare-eyed halfband Predator on aphids x
Melangyna subfasciata Yellow-faced halfband Predator on aphids x
Melangyna umbellatarum Bare-winged halfband Predator on aphids x x
Melanostoma mellinum Western roundtail Predator on aphids x x x
Neocnemodon rita Gloomy spikeleg Predator on aphids x
Paragus haemorrhous Black-nosed grass skimmer Predator on aphids x
Paragus sp. Skimmer Predator on aphids x
Parasyrphus relictus Boreal bristleside Predator on aphids x x
Platycheirus atra/lutepennis Sedgesitter Predator on aphids x
Platycheirus ciliatus Pacific sedgesitter Predator on aphids x
Platycheirus confusus/sabulicola Sedgesitter Predator on aphids x
Platycheirus stegnus Greater punctate sedgesitter Predator on aphids x
Platycheirus trichopus Western forest sedgesitter Predator on aphids x
Sphaerophoria abbreviata/asymmetrica Globetail Predator on aphids x x
Sphaerophoria brevipilosa/longipilosa Globetail Predator on aphids x
Sphaerophoria novaeangliae Black-striped globetail Predator on aphids x
Sphaerophoria sulphuripes Forded globetail Predator on aphids x x x
Syrphus attenuatus Yellow-margined flower fly Predator on aphids x
Syrphus opinator Black-margined flower fly Predator on aphids x x
Syrphus ribesii Common flower fly Predator on aphids x x
Syrphus torvus Hairy-eyed flower fly Predator on aphids x x
Toxomerus occidentalis Western calligrapher Predator on aphids x x
Toxomerus sp. Calligrapher Predator on aphids x
* = non-native
Top view of a flower fly with black and yellow coloration similar to that of a wasp
Adult blackshield meadow flies (Chrysotoxum flavifrons) are wasp mimics.  They are aphid predators as larvae.

NPS / Jessica Rykken