Scientific name

Paragus serratus (Fabricius)

Taxonomic position

Diptera: Brachycera: Cyclorrhapha: Syrphidae: Syrphinae: Paragini


Eyes hairy, hairs arranged in three longitudinal stripes, forming a pattern of light and dark areas; contiguous in male, more widely separated in female. Antennae dark brown to black, arista bare. Mesonotum shiny, blue-black, with a pair of greyish longitudinal median stripes, anteriorly confluent, posteriorly divergent, more or less inverted V-shaped; a pair of very short, narrow, transverse grey stripes present lateral to these stripes a little before middle. Scutellum anteriorly black, posteriorly yellowish, posterior margin with a series of serrations / teeth-like projections. Abdomen with variable coloration, in general 1st tergite black, sometimes partly or wholly reddish brown; tergite 2 reddish to orange-brown, anterior margin and / or sides blackish; tergites 3-5 completely brown / yellowish / black or with median and lateral portions black; tergites 3 and 4 with a pair of white bands on either side of anterior margin; tergite 5 with a similar, but medially confluent and often broader white band; tergite 6 orange-brown to black, with whitish apical pubescence. Legs with coxae, anterior portion of fore femora, posterior half of middle femora, and most of hind femora, blackish; hind tibiae and hind tarsi dark brown to black, rest of legs orange or bright yellowish. In ventral view, apical abdominal sternites orange-brown to greyish and asymmetrical in male, black and symmetrical in female.


   Adult male - Dorsal view
   Abdominal tip, ventral view: Female and male
     Larva of P. serratus


Widely distributed in India.

Prey / Biology

Feeds on a variety of aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) such as Acyrthosiphon pisum, A. spiraecola, A. craccivora, A. fabae, A. gossypii, Lipaphis erysimi, Melanaphis sacchari, Tetraneura nigriabdominalis, Therioaphis trifolii, Toxoptera aurantii, and T. citricida (Ghorpade, 1981). Associated with cotton, dolichos, ragi, mustard, gooseberry, redgram, sorghum, sugarcane, sweet potato and water melon (Ghorpade, 1981). Joshi et al. (1999; 2000) studied its predatory potential and worked out the age-specific life table on various aphids.


  • Brunetti, E. 1923. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. Volume 3. Pipunculidae, Syrphidae, Conopidae, Oestridae. xii+424 p. Taylor & Francis, London.
  • Ghorpade, K. 1981. Insect prey of Syrphidae (Diptera) from India and neighbouring countries: a review and bibliography. Tropical Pest Management, 27: 62-82.
  • Ghorpade, K. 1994. Diagnostic keys to new and known genera and species of Indian subcontinent Syrphini (Diptera: Syrphidae). Colemania, 3: 1-15.
  • Joshi, S., Ballal, C.R. & Rao, N.S. 1999. Evaluation of potential of syrphid predators, Ischiodon scutellaris (Fabricius) and Paragus serratus (Fabricius) (Diptera: Syrphidae). Journal of Aphidology, 13:9-16.
  • Joshi, S., Ballal, C.R. and Rao, N.S. 2000. The age specific life-table of Paragus serratus (Fabricius) and Paragus yerburiensis Stuckenberg (Diptera: Syrphidae), predators of Aphis craccivora Koch (Homoptera: Aphididae). Journal of Aphidology, 14: 67-72.