Pipiza lugubris (Fabricius, 1775)
Biology & ecology:
This appears to be a woodland species that occurs along damp rides. There are suspicions that it may be associated with locations supporting Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria. The larvae of this genus are predaceous upon aphids but the precise prey of P. lugubris is unknown. Adults have been caught from beds of Meadowsweet and Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa on a grassy verge.
This species is widely distributed across England and Wales but is largely absent from extensive areas east of the Pennines and the East Midlands. The major concentrations of records are centred upon South Lancashire/ Cheshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.
Status & conservation:
P. fasciata, P. lugubris, P. noctiluca and P. notata, are justifiably seen as a difficult species complex by many recorders, and are often ignored. Consequently, they must be regarded as under-recorded and probably subject to frequent misidentification.This species does, however, appear to have declined over the past 25 years but the peak in 1984 complicates the picture. Some of the changes may result from changing recorder willingness to tackle difficult taxa.