Trichopsomyia flavitarsis

Trichopsomyia flavitarsis (Meigen, 1822)

Nomenclature:

Parapenium flavitarsis (Meigen, 1822) in Coe (1953) and Kloet & Hincks (1976).

Biology & ecology:

The larva develops on the psyllid Livia juncorum in the galls that this insect forms on Jointed Rush Juncus articulatus. Adults fly low amongst dense vegetation and visit low-growing flowers, such as Tormentil Potentilla erecta. They occur in fens, rushy meadows and boggy areas in moorland including Bog Myrtle Myrica gale stands and Purple Moorgrass Molinia caerulea grasslands. Males hover in small groups near shelter, such as bushes.

Distribution:

Locally abundant where suitable habitat occurs, extending well above the tree line in the Scottish Highlands. Field experience suggests that this species is more frequent in the north and west of Britain, but this is not obvious from the map, which may reflect lower levels of recording in these areas. In southern Britain it is much more restricted by the availability of its habitat, but can still be found in suitable localities.

Status & conservation:

Trends suggest a decline in occurrence over the last 25 years. The peak in frequency of occurrence in the late 1980s is likely to be due to intensive sampling by the Welsh Peatlands Invertebrate Survey.

Recorded from 299 hectads since 1990.