Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Diptera (True flies) ➔ Family Syrphidae (Hoverflies)

Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)

Späte Großstirnschwebfliege Pied Hoverfly

Synonyms and other combinations:

Musca mellina Harris, 1780 | Scaeva affinis Say, 1823 | Scaeva corrusca Gravenhorst, 1807 | Scaeva unicolor Curtis, 1834 | Syrphus flavoscutellatus Girschner, 1884 |

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  541
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    RO, Schwarzmeerküste; 2005-08-08 07:39:43
    Image number: 541
    female
    RO, Schwarzmeerküste
    2005-08-08 07:39:43

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  542
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2005-07-31 10:52:26
    Image number: 542
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2005-07-31 10:52:26

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  4788
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2011-07-23 12:01:30
    Image number: 4788
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2011-07-23 12:01:30

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  8655
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2019-03-05 15:35:44
    Image number: 8655
    female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2019-03-05 15:35:44

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  8656
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2019-03-05 15:36:30
    Image number: 8656
    female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2019-03-05 15:36:30

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  543
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2005-08-13 12:32:12
    Image number: 543
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2005-08-13 12:32:12

  • Scaeva pyrastri, male  544
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2005-07-23 13:39:00
    Image number: 544
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2005-07-23 13:39:00

  • Scaeva pyrastri, male  545
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2005-07-23 13:38:49
    Image number: 545
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2005-07-23 13:38:49

  • Scaeva pyrastri, male  4706
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2011-06-25 11:08:25
    Image number: 4706
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2011-06-25 11:08:25

  • Scaeva pyrastri, male  9093
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2019-07-04 12:03:43
    Image number: 9093
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2019-07-04 12:03:43

  • Scaeva pyrastri, male  9094
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2019-07-04 12:03:19
    Image number: 9094
    male
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2019-07-04 12:03:19

  • Scaeva pyrastri, female  8657
    Scaeva pyrastri (Linnaeus, 1758)  Späte Großstirnschwebfliege  Pied Hoverfly 
    Scaeva pyrastri, female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2018-04-18 11:21:26
    Image number: 8657
    female
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2018-04-18 11:21:26


Classification:
Scaeva pyrastri belongs to the subfamily Syrphinae, tribe Syrphini.
Distribution:
Fennoscandia south to Iberia, the Mediterranean, Canary Isles and North Africa; from Ireland east through much of Europe and Asia Minor into European Russia; through Siberia from the Urals to the Pacific coast (Kuril Isles); India; China; North America from Alaska to California and New Mexico.
Habitat:
Various open habitats, even in forests; probably everywhere, where aphids are to be found.
Description:
Body length 10 - 15 mm; thorax shiny; abdomen with 3 pairs of curved white patches; anterior margin of the oblique spots on the tergites 3 and 4 curved inwards; sternites with broad, black stripes across the entire width; front femora with white and black hair; forehead swollen; eyes hairy.
A similar species is Scaeva albomaculata. In this, the front edge of the oblique patches on the tergites 3 and 4 is almost straight. Other species that are similar at first glance are Scaeva selenitica and Scaeva dignota. These have yellowish spots on the abdomen.
Biology:
The Pied Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri flies (probably in several generations) from March to September. This species is highly migratory.
In Central and Southern Europe, only the fertilized females overwinter. They appear on sunny winter days and in early spring. In March and April, in contrast to Scaeva selenitica, only a few females of Scaeva pyrastri can be found. From the eggs laid by these females, the following generation develops with the first males of the new year. Imagines of Scaeva pyrastri are observed almost exclusively during the period from June to September.
The larvae feed on aphids on low growing plants, bushes and shrubs, including many agricultural crops.
Scaeva pyrastri apparently overwinters as a puparium.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Pape T. & Thompson F.C. (eds) (2017). Systema Dipterorum (version 2.0, Jan 2011). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2017 Annual Checklist (Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds.). Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2017. Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.
  2. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschlüssel für die Schwebfliegen (Diptera, Syrphidae) Deutschlands und der Niederlande, DJN, 1984, ISBN 3-923376-07-3
  3. M.C.D.Speight: Species Accounts of European Syrphidae (Diptera), Glasgow 2011, Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, vol. 65, 285 pp., Syrph the Net publications, Dublin.
  4. Menno Reemer, Willem Renema, Wouter van Steenis, Theo Zeegers, Aat Barendregt, John T. Smit, Mark P. van Veen, Jeroen van Steenis, Laurens van der Leij: De Nederlandse Zweefvliegen (Diptera: Syrphidae), Nederlandse Fauna 8, 2009.
  5. Speight, M.C.D. & Sarthou, J.-P. (2014) StN keys for the identification of the European species of various genera of Syrphidae (Diptera) 2014 / Clés StN pour la détermination des espèces Européennes de plusieurs genres des Syrphidae (Diptères) 2014. Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, Vol. 80, 125 pp, Syrph the Net publications, Dublin
  6. Láska P., Pérez-Bañón C., Mazánek L., Rojo S., Ståhls G., Marcoz-García M. A., Bičík V. & Dušek J.: Taxonomy of the genera Scaeva, Simosyrphus and Ischiodon (Diptera: Syrphidae): Descriptions of immature stages and status of taxa, Eur. J. Entomol. 103: 637–655, 2006, ISSN 1210-5759