Scaeva pyrastri

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Scaeva pyrastri
Hoverfly January 2008-8.jpg
Hoverfly December 2007-6.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Syrphidae
Genus: Scaeva
S. pyrastri
Binomial name
Scaeva pyrastri

Scaeva pyrastri, common name the pied hoverfly, is a species of hoverfly.[4]

Female in flight


These hoverflies are present in most of Europe, the Near East, the East Palearctic realm, the Nearctic realm, North Africa, and the Indomalayan realm.[5] In the UK S. pyrastri is a migrant which arrives in some years in high numbers and in others is almost absent.[6]


Scaeva pyrastri can reach a length of 11–15 millimetres (0.43–0.59 in).[7][8] This large distinctive fly has three pairs of white comma markings (lunules) on the abdomen,[7] these are yellow on Scaeva selenitica.

Larva of Scaeva pyrastri

The face is yellow, with reddish brown antennae. The eyes are covered with hair. Scutellum is brown yellow. The legs are red with a black base of the femur. The male's eyes do touch in the centre of the frons, while in the females they are separated.

The larvae are light green or sometimes pink, with a white dorsal longitudinal stripe.[8][9]

Habitat and behavior[edit]

This species can be found in gardens, meadows and wasteland.[10] Adults are common visitors to flowers of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), but also of rape, honeysuckle and daisies. They fly from April to September, with the peak in July and August.[7][10] The larvae feed on different aphid species.[9] During the larval stages they may consume over 500 aphids.[8]


  • Gerald Bothe: Schwebfliegen. Deutscher Jugendbund für Naturbeobachtung, Hamburg 1996.
  • Joachim and Hiroko Haupt: Fliegen und Mücken: Beobachtung, Lebensweise. Naturbuch-Verlag, Augsburg 1998, ISBN 3-89440-278-4.
  • Kurt Kormann: Schwebfliegen und Blasenkopffliegen Mitteleuropas. Fauna Verlag, Nottuln 2003, ISBN 3-935980-29-9.
  • R. Bugg et al. 2008. - Flower Flies (Syrphidae) and other biological control agents for aphids in vegetable crops - UC ANR Publication 8285.
  • Thompson F.C., Pape T., Evenhuis N.L. (2013) Systema Dipterorum


  1. ^ a b Harris, M. (1780). An exposition of English insects. Decads III, IV. London: Robson Co. pp. 73–99, 100–138, pls. 21-30, 31–40. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  2. ^ " Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)". BioLib. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)". ITIS Report. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  4. ^ Stubbs, Alan E. & Falk, Steven J. (1983). British Hoverflies: An Illustrated Identification Guide. British Entomological & Natural History Society. pp. 253, xvpp.
  5. ^ Fauna europaea
  6. ^ Ball, Stuart; Morris, Roger (2013). Britain's Hoverflies. An introduction to the hoverflies of Britain. Woodstock, Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press. pp. 114–5. ISBN 978 0 691 15659 0.
  7. ^ a b c Nature in NRW
  8. ^ a b c Bugguide
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ a b Nature Spot

External links[edit]