Scientific name

Episyrphus balteatus (de Geer) (=Syrphus balteaus de Geer)

Taxonomic position

Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphini


Frons with two black spots above antennae. Metasternum hairy. Mesonotum anteriorly without collar of long hairs. Subscutellar fringe of hairs very long and prominent. Extreme posterior margin of wing with minute, closely spaced, sclerotized black spots. Hypopleuron hairy below spiracles. Abdomen bright yellow-orange with black bands, tergites 3 and 4 with sub-basal and apical black bands. Metasternum hairy. Anterior flat portion of mesopleuron with long, fine hairs. Legs more or less completely yellowish, except hind tarsi darker, brownish. Sternites with or without a black median spot. Posterior end of abdomen ventrally asymmetrical in male, symmetrical in female.


   Figs. 1 - 2. Adult, dorsal view
   Fig. 3. Head; Fig. 4. Scutellum
   Figs. 5 - 6. Male - abdominal tip, ventral view
 Fig. 7. Larva of E. balteatus
   Figs. 8 - 9. Pupa of E. balteatus


Widely distributed in the Oriental region, Asia and Europe.

Prey / Biology

Feeds on aphids on cotton, maize, sunflower, mustard, cabbages, and several other plants (Brunetti, 1923; Ghorpade, 1981). Acyrthosiphon pisum, A. citricola, A. craccivora, A. fabae solanella, A. gossypii, A. rhoicola Hille Ris Lambers, Brachycaudus cardui (L.), Brevicoryne brassicae (L.), Capitophorus carduinus (Walker), Cinara sp., Dysaphis sp. cf. foeniculus (Theobald), Eriosoma lanigera (Hausmann), Hayhurstia atriplicis (L.), Lipaphis erysimi, Macrosiphoniella sanborni (Gillette), Melanaphis sacchari, Mindarus japonicus Takahashi, Mordvilkomemor sp., Myzus ?ornatus Laing, M. persicae (Sulzer), Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch), Sitobion rosaeiformis, Toxoptera aurantii, T. odinae, and Uroleucon sonchi.


  • Brunetti, E. 1923. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera: Pipunculidae, Syrphidae, Conopidae, Oestridae. Volume 3. Taylor and Francis, London. xii+424 p.
  • Ghorpade, K.D. 1981. Insect prey of Syrphidae (Diptera) from India and neighbouring countries: a review and bibliography. Tropical Pest Management 27(1): 62-82.
  • Ghorpade, K.D. 1994. Diagnostic keys to new and known genera and species of Indian subcontinent Syrphini (Diptera: Syrphidae). Colemania, 3: 1-15.
  • Vockeroth, J.R. 1969. A revision of the genera of the Syrphini (Diptera: Syrphidae). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, No. 62, 176 p.