Oct 27, 2008

Hover flies do know how to hover.


Like a helicopter with spinning blades, the hover fly lingers seemingly motionless in mid-air over a flower before zeroing down to feed on the nectar.


Sometimes they’re called flower flies. Sometimes syprhids. They’re from the family Syrphidae and mimic the black-and-yellow coloring of wasps or bees. The coloring protects them from predators. Leave me alone! Let me bee!


Last Sunday our rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora)  attracted its share of honey bees and hover flies.


In fact, so popular was the rock purslane (which we purchased from Ray and Maria Lopez of El Rancho Nursery and Landscaping, Vacaville), that I immediately wanted to fill the yard with the flower.


Instead I focused my macro lens, shot away, and then, for fun, altered the image in Photoshop with “poster edges.”


For a brief period, the hover fly became my poster child.


By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

HOVERING--A hover fly hovers over a rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora). Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


NECTARING--A hover fly gathers nectar from a rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


A PAINTING? No, it's a hover fly Photoshopped. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)