The Meadow Sedgesitter (Platycheirus quadratus) is a small, dusky-yellow and black, Nearctic species. Males can be identified by abdomen pattern and flattened front tibia and tarsi (see drawing). Females, patterned similarly to the males, are not easily separable from other Sedgesitter (Platycheirus) species. Adults are commonly found on grass and sedge blades at the edge of ponds and wetlands where they feed on pollen grains.
Flight season: June – September
Similar species: Melanostoma mellinum and other Platycheirus species
The Western Roundtail (Melanostoma mellinum) is a small, dusky-yellow and black, holarctic species. Identifiable by abdomen pattern. Males lack the flattening or broadening of the front legs characteristic of similar Sedgesitter (Platycheirus) males. Adults can be found on leaf surfaces where they feed on the pollen of grasses (Poaceae) and other wind-pollinated plants but also visit a variety of flowers. Larvae are entomophagous, mainly aphids.
Flight dates: April – July
Flowers: Rue Anemone, Dandelion, Wild Plum
Similar species: Platycheirus quadratus
The Long-nosed Swamp Fly (Eurimyia stipata) is a small, gray, yellow, and black, Holarctic species. Unlike most other Syrphidae, female and male eyes are separated. Males have thinner abdomens and are the more colorful. The larvae have long tails and are found in wet areas with decaying vegetation at the edge of ponds and other wetlands.
The taxonomy of this species is a little messy. In Europe it’s Anasimyia lineatus. Here it has been known as Lejops lineatus or Lejops (Eurimyia) lineatus or Eurimyia lineatus, and currently Eurimyia stipata. The common name, Long-nosed Swamp Fly, simplifies the problem.
Flight season: May – July
Flowers: Sweetflag Iris, Spiderwort, Creeping Thistle
Similar species: Lejops bilinearis and Parhelophilus sp.