Parhelophilus consimilis (Malm, 1863)
Helophilus consimilis Malm in Coe (1953).
Biology & ecology:
This is a wetland species and occurs in habitats that reflect a transition between fen and bog, erring on the side of nutrient-poor acid waters and poor fen. Adults fly rapidly around, and settle on, emergent vegetation and visit flowers such as Bog Bean Menyanthes trifoliata, buttercups Ranunculus sp. and Marsh Cinquefoil Potentilla palustris. The larvae of this genus are ?long-tailed?, a modification that allows the animal to breathe whilst living entirely submerged. To date this species? larva appears not to have been found.
There are scattered records from southern Scotland south to South Somerset (Westhay Moor), Dorset (Studland), Cornwall, East Kent and East Anglia (including Thompson Common and Sutton Broad Fen).
Status & conservation:
There are indications that P. consimilis has undergone a decline over the past 20 years but the peak in frequency of occurrence coincided with water trap surveys of Welsh peatlands and the East Anglian Fens, thus suggesting that the scale of decline is exaggerated by reduced recorder effort.