Platycheirus melanopsis

Platycheirus melanopsis Loew, 1856

Biology & ecology:

This is a montane species that occurs at altitudes in excess of 250 to 300 metres. The larva is predaceous and it has been suggested that it is associated with the scale insect Arctorthezia cataphracta. Adult males are found hovering close to the ground, especially over bare ground of tracks and rocky outcrops.

Distribution:

Work by the Malloch Society suggests that this is quite a widespread species in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, especially in Perth and the Cairngorms, but also from high ground on Rhum. It is also recorded from the Lake District. Records from Wales and southern England are probably misidentifications, although there seems no reason why the species should not occur on mountains in Snowdonia and the Pennines.

Status & conservation:

The large peak in the frequency of recording in the late 1980s represents a period of intensive sampling at high altitudes.

Recorded from 13 hectads since 1990.