Welcome to Syrphidae Community Website

This is the home of Flower Flies (Syrphidae) where participants will edit and maintain their classification, upload images, share bibliographic resources, among other activities.

Syrphidae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha), commonly called hover or flower flies, is a very large world-wide family of some 6,000 known species, placed into more than 300 distinctive groups. Three subfamilies namely Microdontinae, Eristalinae, Pipizinae and Syrphinae are currently recognized in the family. Almost all adult syrphids visit flowers for pollen and nectar. Larvae, on the other hand, are found in a very diverse array of habitats, including fungal fruiting bodies (mycophagy), dung, nests of social Hymenoptera, decaying wood and water bodies of several types (saprophagy: the famous rat-tailed maggots), mining in leafs and stems of numerous plant families (phytophagy), and as predators of arthropods. Larval stages of this family exhibit a very diverse array of feeding modes with complex morphological and behavioral adaptations.

This group of important pollinators is poorly treated in the Encyclopedia of Life despite the fact that flower flies play a crucial ecological and economic role as bio-control agents of plant pests, re-cyclers of dead plant and animal matter, pests of some ornamental plants, and pollinators. Syrphids have also been used as bio-indicators of environmental health and change  and as an indicator group to demonstrate the effects of climate change on pollinators.

This Scratchpad will provide a popular framework to disseminate the knowledge generated from our current studies on Syrphidae systematics and phylogenetics. Classification below the family level remains a very important question to solve. The last revision of the Syrphidae species-groups was done more than 60 years ago (Hull 1949) and the newest classification elaborated by our team has not yet published.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith