Taxonomy

The small genus Episyrphus is confined to the 'old world' and contains 2 subgenera - Episyrphus (of which balteatus is the type-species) and Asiobaccha.

In the subgenus Episyrphus, E. balteatus is the only Palaearctic representative, but there are a few very similar-looking tropical species in Africa, Asia and Australasia. Some of these species could be conspecific with E. balteatus, but further study is needed to determine their taxonomic status.

Asiobaccha look very different. They have a very slender petiolate abdomen and darkened wings, and superficially look more similar to the Baccha group of genera, which are not closely related to Episyrphus.

Studies by Mengual et al (2008) suggest that the genus most closely related to Episyrphus is Meliscaeva, and that it is also closely related to Asarkina, Allograpta and Sphaerophoria.

Share this