Sericomyia superbiens

Sericomyia superbiens (Müller, 1776)

Nomenclature:

Arctophila fulva (Harris, 1780) in Stubbs & Falk (1983), A. mussitans (Fabricius, 1775).

Biology & ecology:

The larva remains undescribed, but is thought to be aquatic or semi-aquatic. Stubbs & Falk (1983) report an observation of a female ovipositing in a water filled hoof print in a shaded muddy path beside a stream. Found near springs, wet flushes or streams, usually near the edge of woodland or carr. Adults are commonest in late summer and visit purple flowers, especially Devil's-bit Scabious Succisa, white umbels and yellow composites.

Distribution:

This is primarily a northern and western species but there is an outlying population in East Anglia, especially Norfolk where it is part of an assemblage of otherwise northerly species. Recent records suggest that this species is becoming much scarcer. It is potentially a useful indicator of northward contraction under projected climate change scenarios.

Status & conservation:

There has been some downward trend in frequency of recording since the 1980s in lowland areas but numbers appear to be much more stable in uplands.

Recorded from 317 hectads since 1990.