Platycheirus clypeatus

Platycheirus clypeatus (Meigen, 1822)

Biology & ecology:

The early stages of this common species require further investigation. The larva is rarely found at aphid colonies, and may be a generalised predator within the litter layer. Since the splitting of this species complex by Speight & Goeldlin (1990) and Goeldlin et al. (1990), P. clypeatus sensu stricto remains by far the most frequently recorded. It is found in all sorts of grassy situations, but most abundantly in damp grassland including pond, stream and ditch margins. Adults fly low down amongst tall vegetation and are easily found by sweeping. They also visit a wide range of flowers including sedges and grasses.


Of the segregates from the P. clypeatus complex, this remains by far the commonest and most widespread, occurring throughout Britain.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence plot is for 'Platycheirus clypeatus sensu lat.', i.e. including P. occultus, P. europaeus and P. ramsarensis. The trend for this complex shows a small but significant decline.

Recorded from 1557 hectads since 1990.