Dual ecosystem services of syrphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae): pollinators and biological control agents

Lucinda Dunn*, Manuel Lequerica, Chris R. Reid, Tanya Latty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


With increasing worldwide pressure on bee pollinator populations and an increase in insecticide resistance amongst pest insects, there is a growing need for diversification of pollinator and pest control systems. Syrphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) contribute ecosystem services to agroecosystems through their supporting roles as crop pollinators and predators of pests. Adult syrphids are important pollinators with high floral visitation rates and pollen carrying capacity, while predatory syrphid larvae are natural biological control agents, reducing aphid populations in both field and laboratory conditions. The present challenge is to determine whether syrphid flies have the potential for application as pollinators and in integrated pest management schemes as biological control agents. Currently, there are gaps in research that are hindering the use of syrphids as dual service providers. Such gaps include a lack of knowledge of syrphid floral preferences, the role and viability of adult syrphids as pollinators in natural and agro-ecological pollinator networks, and the predatory efficiency of larvae in field and glasshouse conditions. By reviewing relevant literature, we demonstrate syrphid flies have the potential to be used as pollinators and biological control agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1979
Number of pages7
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • flower flies
  • hoverflies
  • pollination
  • aphid control
  • integrated pest management


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