Welcome to The Flower flies (Syrphidae) of Colombia

Syrphidae are one of the most specious Diptera families in the Neotropical region with many undescribed species waiting to be discovered and described (Thompson et al. 1976; Thompson 1981, 1999a; Thompson et al. 2010).

The family is known as hover flies because exhibit high maneuverability in flight, remaining hovering in a static position. The flower flies are pollinators, feeding on pollen and nectar, an energetic resource for flight and mating events (Rotheray & Gilbert 2011). Immature states display a wide range of lifestyles and adaptations. Syrphinae are predators of colonial insects such as Hemiptera with beneficial effects as biocontrol agents (Rojo et al. 2003). In Syrphinae, some species are predators of aquatic insect in bromeliads (Rotheray et al. 2000), while others are secondarily leaf–miners (Nishida et al. 2003), stem–borers (Zuijen & Nishida 2010) or pollen–feeders (Reemer & Rotheray 2009). Eristalinae feed on decaying organic matter, with some species feeding on animal dung, water reservoirs in Phytotelmata, while others species are saprophagous feeding on exuding plant sap (Gilbert et al. 1994). Microdontinae are predators of immature states of ants (Reemer & Ståhls 2013).

The study of flower flies in Colombia started with Macquart (1842–1850), who described four new species. Until 1892, the number of species was low, with only 25 species described by six authors. Between 1925 and 1951, many species were described (50 species), mainly supported by the works of Hull (1925–1951) and Curran (1925–1941). In 1976, Thompson listed 96 species from Colombia. In posterior studies, new species were described, and numerous new synonymies, new combinations, new records and various nomenclatural changes were proposed, increasing the number of Colombian species to 200 (Hippa & Thompson 1983; Thompson 1994; 1999a, 2006; Gutiérrez et al. 2005; Restrepo-Ortiz & Carrejo 2009). The present work provides an updated catalogue of the Colombian Syrphidae including the examination of material in collections in addition to a literature review (Montoya et al. 2012; Ricarte et al. 2012; Mengual, 2014; Miranda et al. 2014). The catalogue contains 337 species and 57 genera. Species in the genera Calostigma, Claraplumula, Eristalinus, Fazia, Hermesomyia, Hybobathus, Mimocalla, Menidon, Monoceromyia, Orphnabaccha, Pelecinobaccha, Peradon, Rhinoprosopa, Sphiximorpha and Styxia are listed for the first time from Colombia (Table 1). Valid names were taken from the Nomenclator of the BioSystematic Database of World Diptera (Thompson 2013). Abbreviations follow the proposed standard of Thompson (1999b).

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