Flies (Order: Diptera)

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There is an incredible variety of flies that visit flowers. Some, such as members of the Syrphidae and Bombyliidae families, obtain most or all of their resources from flowers. These hairy flies can move significant quantities of pollen around as they forage.


The Syrphidae are probably the most important pollinating flies in Ontario. Many species are very abundant under the right conditions. Syrphid young (larvae) have a very different lifestyle than their parents, and in some species the larvae prey on slow-moving insects such as aphids.


House flies, blow flies, and anthomyiid flies can also be effective pollinators. Most flies visit flowers to collect nectar only, although some adult syrphids also feed on pollen.


A common species of hoverfly (Syrphidae) (photo by Stephen Marshall)


A blowfly (Calliphoridae) on a flower (photo by Stephen Marshall)


A beefly (Bombyliidae) on a flower (photo by Tom Woodcock)


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