Baccha elongata

Baccha elongata (Fabricius, 1775)

Nomenclature:

In the past two species were recognised: B. elongata and B. obscuripennis. They were separated on small variations in dusting and the male genitalia. They are now synonymised under B. elongata.

Biology & ecology:

This small, elongate, narrow-waisted species is very distinctive and is most frequently seen hovering low down amongst vegetation in shade or dappled sunshine. It particularly favours nettle beds in humid situations where females can be found ovipositing. The larva is a predator of a variety of ground layer aphids. Adults can be found basking on leaves, but not often at flowers. Flies from May through to the Autumn, but is most frequent in May.

Distribution:

Widespread in wooded districts. Typically found along woodland rides or margins, along hedgerows and in parks and larger gardens. It is scarce or absent from areas that lack shelter such as the fens and areas of sheep grazed upland.

Status & conservation:

A common species throughout Britain, even though there may have been some decline in occurrence over the past 35 years.

Recorded from 1143 hectads since 1990.