Melanostoma scalare

Melanostoma scalare (Fabricius, 1794)

Nomenclature:

Like M. mellinum, this is a rather variable species which is rumoured to have been split into two species by revisionary work in Europe. Recent DNA testing (ref) suggests that a split is not justified.

Biology & ecology:

The larva as for M. mellinum. Again it appears to be double brooded, but the earlier peak in abundance in May-June tends to be stronger, so that it tends to be the more abundant of the two in the spring and early summer.

Distribution:

Widespread throughout Great Britain, like M. mellinum, but it tends to prefer lusher vegetation and is not usually found in open situations such as moorland. It is more likely to be found in woodland rides and edges or around scrub or hedgerows.

Status & conservation:

One of the commonest small hoverflies throughout Britain. The overall trend is for an increase in frequency of occurrence.

Recorded from 2155 hectads since 1990.