- Syrphids are a major group of dipteran predators belonging to Syrphidae family. They serve as excellent predators of major agricultural and horticultural pests. They are also known as hover flies, flower flies or syrphid flies. In cashew plants, they can be found among groups of aphids, thrips etc.
- Three species of syrphids, viz., Paragus serratus (Fabricius), Ischidon scutellaris (Fabricius), and Dideopsis aegrota (Fabricius) have been recorded as predators of aphids, Toxoptera odinae in cashew in Goa and Puttur region of Karnataka. All the immature stages of predators were found predating on young aphids.
- While adult syrphid flies are frequent flower visitors to a wide range of wild plants including cashew flowers. They are often considered as an important group of pollinators after wild bees in some crop species.
- In the cashew plantations, these syrphid maggots along with coccinellids manage the pests especially aphids very well without the need for insecticidal sprays.
Photo credit to syrphids: K. Vanitha, ICAR-DCR, Puttur