Xylota sylvarum

Xylota sylvarum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Biology & ecology:

The larva feeds in soft, decaying heartwood of various trees (firs Abies sp., Beech Fagus sylvatica and Oak Quercus sp.), including deep underground in the roots. They have also been reared from decaying sawdust. It occurs in woodland and scrub, including large hedgerows. Adults are typically seen running rapidly backwards and forwards over sun-lit foliage or sun bathing on stumps and fallen branches. They rarely visit flowers.

Distribution:

Widespread and common in wooded districts throughout England and Wales, but becoming scarcer further north. In Scotland it is rather local, although widespread south of the Highlands and extends northwards to the Moray Firth.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence shows a significant decline over the last 30 years and the rate of decline appears to be accelerating.

Recorded from 833 hectads since 1990.