The Syrphid flies are in the family Syrphidae of the Diptera and are almost 900 species in North America. They are also known as Hover flies or flower flies. Many are important predators of aphids. Some live in the nests of the social insects (ants, bees and termites). Some larvae live in decaying wood and a few in very polluted water. All have that distinctive vein in the wings which can be seen here as a dark vertical line about 2/3s of the way out on the right wing. Many of the syrphids are bee and wasp mimics.

This individual is close to Helophilus. I now have the Arkansas list for this group and the genera list after adding extensive info from the Howard Vincent Weems unpublised PhD on Syrphids of the Southeastern US. I have added this to the information from Oklahoma which is a good start. They have 70 species (predicted and documented) in 37 genera in OK. My current list has about 150 for AR. The list in preparation is here. Key for the genera is too long to incorporate yet.

Excellent wing markings distally with some fine bee imitative colors. Orange legs are a nice touch. Patrick Coin thinks this is Meromacrus acutus and after capturing and keying one I agree. One other possible Meromacrus species in the east.

Wing vein visible here in this species from Florida as well. Giff Beaton believes this is Palpada albifrons and that is a fly occurring in FL GA NC LA (formerly in Eristalis).

This, without question, is my favorite Syrphid so far. Look at that thing. Buzzed around like a bee but it was obviously a fly at close range. I had never noticed those fancy spires off the antennae on Syrphids before. This one is in the tribe Microdontini and is definitely a Microdon species. Turns out we have about ten or more of these locally. This one was hanging out near a fine swamp in Yell county though I don't know if it is a known swamp denizen or not. Apparently, these flies do not stray far from the nests of their ant hosts.  There are about 30 species of Microdon in the US. And they each have their particular ant hosts.

 Another Microdon species. Though possibly the same one only from Mt. Magazine where there were alot of ants and alot of these perched in the leaves in late May. Looks a bit less silvery than the above.

Handsome smaller Syrphid in an unknown genus for now. These guys range from tiny to moderate sized. This is half the size of the Microdon above.

Another small Syrphid from Bell. Looks very close to the small guy above though I did not see the full abdominal markings on the other. This was only 4 or 5 mm long. May be a Toxomerus.

Spring Syrphid from Round Mountain. Toxomerus germinatus female. She appeared to be egg-laying on several plants. But not sure if that is their habit.

Strange little flies. Orthonevra. Etched eyes on several species apparently. These were hiding out in Norm and Cheryl's back yard. I have two species listed for the east. Not sure which one this is.

Fairly widely distributed in the east and distinctively large and buzzy. They seem to stay near heavily forested areas and are fairly good wasp/yellow jacket mimics. This is Milesia virginiensis. Large females are nearly an inch long.

Norm's death defying pair of Milesia. Male is the one hanging on for dear life. Female in inverted Zen repose. 

A pine woods Syrphid from early April in Ouachita county. This is Teuchocnemis bacuntius. Two members of this genus in the east. The other is more northern, T. lituratus. It is darker and hairier. See specimens here. Both have a femoral spur in the males. This one is found from the NE and along the coastal states to TX. Certainly in south AR and central AR where I have found it twice now. Wary but distinctive Syrphid. I have no biological info on this animal otherwise.

A fairly distinctive Syrphid now in Copestylum. C. barei. I had it previously in Volucella. Apparently a common genus in the tropics. With over 300 species. Likely just four or five in our area. Apparently the larva are heavy cacti lovers in the SW. With up to six species in some Mexican cacti during decomposition. The larva are bizarre.