Quantification of migrant hoverfly movements (diptera: syrphidae) on the west coast of North America

Myles H.M. Menz, Brian V. Brown, Karl R. Wotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The seasonal migration of huge numbers of hoverflies is frequently reported in Europe from mountain passes or spurs of land. The movement of such large numbers of beneficial insects is thought to provide significant ecosystem services in terms of pollination and pest control. Observations from the East Coast of the USA during the 1920s indicate the presence of migratory life histories among some hoverfly species there, but 90 years have now passed since the last reported observation of hoverfly migration in the USA. Here, we analyse video footage taken during a huge northward migration of hoverflies on 20 April 2017 on the West Coast of California. The quantification of migrant numbers from this footage allows us to estimate the passage of over 100 000 hoverflies in half an hour over a 200 m section of headland in Montañ a de Oro State Park (San Luis Obispo County). Field collections and analysis of citizen science data indicate different species from the previously reported Eristalis tenax migrations on the East Coast of the USA and provide evidence for migration among North American hoverflies. We wish to raise awareness of this phenomenon and suggest approaches to advance the study of hoverfly migration in North America and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number190153
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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