Pipiza luteitarsis

Pipiza luteitarsis Zetterstedt, 1843

Biology & ecology:

The larva develops on Schizoneura aphids, which curl the leaves of Elm Ulmus sp. This species is associated with deciduous woodland, and adults are often found resting on foliage along the edges of rides and clearings. Males defend patches of sunlight, hovering a few metres above the ground.

Distribution:

The most distinctive member of the genus that is suited to reliable identification. It is a scarce but widespread species in the southern half of Britain, tending to be recorded more frequently from the east. Whilst its range extends northwards to southern Scotland, it is rare in the northern part of its range. Although listed by Stubbs (1982) as a ?good? primary woodland indicator, recent records suggest that it is not confined to ancient woodlands, and the presence of Elm may be a more significant factor.

Status & conservation:

This species appears to have undergone a significant decline over the past 35 years; some of which may be a result of changing recorder willingness to tackle difficult taxa.

Recorded from 178 hectads since 1990.