Montana's Huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) Mystery: Pollinators, Pests, and Potential Threats
Flies (Order Diptera)
Eight Empididae individuals and seven Syrphidae individuals were collected from V. globulare flowers in 2014-2015, along with one individual each of five other families of Diptera. Both the Empididae and Syrphidae are known to have adults that feed on nectar (McAlpine et al. 1981), and some syrphids are known to be pollinators (Larson et al. 2001, Willmer 2011). The role of other flower-visiting Diptera, especially night-flying Nematocera, as pollinators has not yet been fully investigated, though it may be substantial (Larson et al. 2001), and in this study no night sampling was conducted.
Flies (Order Diptera) on V. globulare. Twenty individual flies from seven families were collected visiting V. globulare. Eight were from the family Empididae (left) and seven were from the family Syrphidae (right). Photos: RKD Peterson at www.montana.edu/yellowstoneinsects/contents.html.