any member of a family that contains about 6,000 species of insects in the fly order, Diptera. Their various common names refer to the behaviour of hovering around flowers. Hover flies, with their yellow markings, resemble wasps or bees but do not bite or sting. They are distinguished from other flies by a false (spurious) vein that closely parallels the fourth longitudinal wing vein. The species vary from small, elongated, and slender (e.g., Baccha) to large (bumblebee size), hairy, and yellow and black (Criorhina).
Learn more about flower fly with a free trial on Britannica.com.