February 2023

Eupeodes americanus hover flies are important pollinators as adults and biological control agents as larvae. Adults fly around seeking not only nectar and pollen from flowers, but also aphid colonies where they will lay their eggs. Aphids, many of which are major crop pests, then get devoured by fly larvae which emerge from these eggs. In our paper, we explored the long-distance migratory behavior of Eupeodes americanus in eastern North America. Using stable hydrogen isotope assignment techniques, we found that these flies migrate from the upper Midwest/Canada to the southeastern United States annually during autumn, amounting to a distance of up to 3000 km! This means that the ecosystem services provided by these flies are being distributed across the continent on an annual basis, which likely has major implications for both natural and human-dominated ecosystems. Full open access paper here.

Download high resolution file: ecog_2023_02_cover_01.pdf