Platycheirus manicatus

Platycheirus manicatus (Meigen, 1822)

Biology & ecology:

The larva feeds on aphids on low growing plants and bushes. According to Stubbs & Falk (1983) it is a grassland species, preferring drier grasslands on neutral to calcareous soils, but Speight (2010) describes it as a species of wet or humid open ground and Rotheray (1993) reports that gravid females seem to prefer moist shady situations. Our experience is that it is frequently swept from long grass in most habitats, but is especially abundant in coastal grasslands. Adults are often found visiting a wide range on flowers, especially white umbels.

Distribution:

Widespread and common, including many of the Scottish islands.

Status & conservation:

Trend analysis highlights a significant decline in occurrence over the past 35 years, although it remains common in many northern locations, especially the Scottish islands where it can be one of the commonest hoverflies.

Recorded from 1210 hectads since 1990.