Pipizella viduata

Pipizella viduata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nomenclature:

Pipizella varipes (Meigen) in Stubbs & Falk (1983).

Biology & ecology:

The larva is associated with ant-attended, root-feeding aphids on white umbels (e.g. Anauraphis subterranea attended by Lasius niger on the roots of Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa). Generally found by sweeping dry grassland (including calcareous and coastal grassland), dry heathland and woodland rides, or seen visiting low flowers, especially bedstraws Galium sp., Wild Parsnip and other white umbels. Adults will bask on sun-lit leaves, but generally stay close to the ground.

Distribution:

A widespread and common species found in suitable localities throughout Britain, although most frequent in the southern lowlands.

Status & conservation:

No obvious trend.

Recorded from 699 hectads since 1990.