Myathropa florea

Myathropa florea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nomenclature:

Myiatropa florea Linnaeus in Coe (1953).

Biology & ecology:

This is the most abundant and least choosy of the hoverflies associated with decaying wood. The larva, which is of the ?long-tailed?, aquatic type, occurs in any situation with wet wood debris, typically, water-filled tree hollows containing decaying leaf and wood detritus, and decaying roots deep underground. They will develop in compost and cow-dung. They will readily use artificial breeding sites consisting of containers of water mixed with rotted sawdust or woodland litter. Adults disperse widely and visit a variety of flowers. Males hover in the canopy, making a loud high pitched buzz. They are often seen in gardens.

Distribution:

Common and widely distributed across lowland Britain but markedly less common in upland areas.

Status & conservation:

Trends suggest that this species' occurrence has been increasing strongly over the past 35 years. M. florea is often recorded by casual photographers and this may have some influence, although probably too small to explain the size of the increase.

Recorded from 1544 hectads since 1990.