Eristalis flavipes

Drone Fly / Hover Fly

Eristalis flavipes, bumblebee mimic in family Syrphidae


Family: Syrphidae

Subfamily: Eristalinae

Length: typically 12-14 mm


Rasheed et al. (2008) studied a number of species of Syrphid flies that mimic wasps, honeybees, and bumblebees. While their general conclusion was that most Syrphid flies do not sound very much like the hymenoptera species they resemble, they did report that Eristalis flavipes is an exception, and does indeed sound like bumblebee species.

This species is found in northern states from coast to coast, but there are many apparent gaps in its range. It has been reported from British Columbia and Ontario, but not from the provinces in between. In West Virginia it may be near the southern part of its range. The photos here were taken in the Canaan Valley, where many northern species of plant and animal are common.

  Eristalis flavipes, Syrphid fly bumblebee mimic  Eristalis flavipes, Syrphid Fly view of head and dorsal view of thorax

Insects of West Virginia