With the produced high-quality digital images of every hoverfly species we can obtain within the project time, we will create a new resource of standardized hoverfly portrait images. Diagnostic characters of hoverfly parts will be clearly portrayed using innovative solutions. We believe that high-quality digital images are an important deliverable of the project, as the images will be crucial in production of future tools such as identification keys to hoverfly genera and species at regional level, and for illustrating (regional) field guides.
The tasks carried out by Taxo-Fly project members will support other European Commission funded projects, such as the EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (EUPoMS), the Preparatory Action for EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme and Indicators (SPRING project), the Horizon 2020 Europe research projects (POSHBEE, SAFEGUARD), and European National action plans for pollinators.
The milestones of our project are the factsheets for each European species. These will include descriptions, illustrations of morphological characters, photographs, distribution maps and relevant information on the life-histories, host-plant associations and habitat associations of European hoverfly species.
2021: Virtual Workshop to collect ideas and feedback on the project and the web platform
2021: Project organization and start Concept of online web platform for Task 2
2022: Information collected for 30% of species
2023: Information collected for 60% of species
2024: Information collected for 100% of species
The hoverflies constitute the most significant insect pollinator group globally after bees and bumblebees. Typically, adult hoverflies consume nectar and pollen from flowers and herbaceous plants, and visit at least over 70% of all plants used for food production globally.
The appearance of different hoverfly species varies greatly; some of the largest species are hairy and have yellow stripes thus mimicking bumblebees and wasps, while some of the smallest resemble small black bees or other small species of Hymenoptera. The larvae of many hoverfly species eat aphids and other plant pests, while the larvae of certain species use degradable organic matter for nutrition, making them part of nutrient re-cycling.
About one-third of the 900+ European hoverfly species are in clear need of updated morphological characterization, or their taxonomic status or nomenclature is in need of additional clarification.