Psilota anthracina Meigen, 1822
There are recent continental additions to this genus and five species are now recognised in Europe (Speight, 2010), although British specimens have been checked and confirmed to be P. anthracina.
Biology & ecology:
On the continent, the larva has been found in sap runs on trees (Stubbs, 1996). Speight (2010) suggests that larvae and puparia described by Kassebeer may have been either (or both) P. anthracina and/or P. atra, but larvae from accumulations of decaying sap under Spruce Picea bark are presumably those of P. anthracina. In Britain, it is restricted to sites with large numbers of ancient trees. Adults are elusive, but are sometimes found visiting Hawthorn Crataegus or sallows Salix sp. blossoms.
The great majority of records are from a few sites with large populations of ancient trees, such as Windsor Forest, the New Forest and Richmond Park, but there are recent records from Essex, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire. The adults are possibly overlooked by hoverfly recorders because of their close resemblance to shining blue-black muscids (e.g. Hydrotaea spp.).
Status & conservation:
Too few records to analyse trends.