Lejogaster metallina (Fabricius, 1781)
Biology & ecology:
The larva is aquatic and found among plant roots just below the water surface in slow flowing situations. Found in all types of open wetland habitats including wet meadows, marshes, fens and flushes (including mildly acidic conditions), especially where rushes Juncus is abundant. Adults are frequently found visiting flowers, buttercups Ranunculus sp. being especially favoured, usually close to breeding habitat.
A widespread and frequent species in suitable localities throughout Britain. There is a noticeable lack of records from parts of eastern England which possibly reflects a combination of limited habitat availability and low rainfall. Records in Scotland seem to be more heavily concentrated in lowland and coastal locations, which is especially apparent in south-west Scotland.
Status & conservation:
There has been a substantial decline in occurrence over the past 25 years. Declines in the lowlands may partially reflect changing recorder competency but might also be attributed to factors behind the noted decline in wetland species.