Melanogaster aerosa

Melanogaster aerosa (Loew, 1843)


Chrysogaster macquarti Loew in Stubbs & Falk (1983).

Biology & ecology:

The larva is aquatic living beneath the surface of semi-liquid, enriched mud near plant roots where there is no water movement. Typically it occurs in acid bogs and flushes and around small moorland streams, although they may also be associated with ditches on alluvial levels. Adults are usually swept, or found visiting flowers, close to water.


This species is regarded as a mainly northern and western species but the scatter of records from other areas suggests that this is not entirely so. It is widespread in acid areas but rarely abundant. Care is needed with identification, as this species is difficult to separate from M. hirtella, which often occurs in similar places. Whilst there is overlap in the flight periods, M. aerosa tends to fly later in the year.

Status & conservation:

There has been a substantial decline in occurrence over the past 30 years, in keeping with many wetland species.

Recorded from 87 hectads since 1990.