Xanthandrus comtus

Xanthandrus comtus (Harris, 1780)

Biology & ecology:

The larva preys on gregarious caterpillars of yponomeutid and tortricid micro-moths. It occurs in woodland edge (deciduous and coniferous) and scrub where adults are usually found visiting flowers or resting on vegetation in clearings or along tracks.

Distribution:

Although relatively frequent in older collections, this species underwent a period of decline and came to be regarded as a rarity. It has evidently recovered, as there are numerous recent records at widely scattered localities throughout the southern half of Britain, and it has been found in Scotland (Rotheray, 1992). Records remain very erratic, however, and there are few sites where it occurs regularly. This could possibly indicate that this species is a migrant.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence is very variable and there is no obvious trend; however there have been some especially large peaks in frequency since 2000.

Recorded from 273 hectads since 1990.