Tropidia scita

Tropidia scita (Harris, 1780)

Biology & ecology:

Mature larvae and puparia have been found between the basal leaf sheaths of Greater Reedmace Typha latifolia. The larva will probably be found living in the wet plant debris around the base of such emergent plants. It is found among emergent vegetation, especially Common Reed Phragmites and Typha, in fens, ponds, drainage ditches and the edges of slow rivers. Adults fly amongst stands of such plants, settle on the stems and leaves and visit nearby flowers including white umbels, Ranunculus, Mentha and Iris. Males hover, sometimes for extended periods, close to a leaf or stem.

Distribution:

Locally abundant in wetlands throughout the lowlands of England and Wales, but most frequent in coastal wetlands and grazing levels. In the areas that used to be occupied by fens in Cambridgeshire and south Lincolnshire, it can still be found in ditches between intensively managed cereal fields, providing that some emergent vegetation is present, even if the water quality appears very poor. In Scotland it is present in the south, and has also been found on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence shows signs of decline over the past 20 years, but this is not significant.

Recorded from 390 hectads since 1990.