Photos by Karen Menard
This Syrphid fly was recently spotted hovering around emerging wildflowers at Providence Metropark. Also known as “flower flies,” these animals are excellent bee and wasp mimics, clad in yellow and black stripes. Look closely to see one pair of wings, very short antennae, and a bulging set of compound eyes, similar to a house fly. Bees, on the other hand, have two sets of wings, longer antennae, and smaller eyes. These flies do not sting and are simply flying around in the woods seeking nesting sites, as well as pollen and nectar from the first blooms of spring. They are excellent pollinators of wildflowers such as this (pictured) Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) which is almost in bloom this week.