Platycheirus scambus

Platycheirus scambus (Stæger, 1843)

Biology & ecology:

The larva feeds on aphids within the ground layer. Found in damp grassland including saltmarsh, poor fen and the fringes of marshes, often where there is some shelter from trees or scrub. Adults fly amongst stands of tall vegetation and are rarely found far from the edges of water. They will visit a wide range of flowers and males hover near flowering shrubs, such as sallows Salix sp., near water.


Locally abundant in Scotland and northern England, and more widespread than was thought in the south, including the Midlands, west Wales and south-west England. Records from southern England need careful scrutiny as misidentification is possible.

Status & conservation:

In common with other wetland species, this species occurrence has steeply declined in the past 25 years.

Recorded from 382 hectads since 1990.