Dasysyrphus venustus

Dasysyrphus venustus (Meigen, 1822)

Nomenclature:

Syrphus venustus Meigen in Coe (1953).

Biology & ecology:

The larva is aphidophagous and arboreal, occurring on both coniferous and deciduous trees. It feeds nocturnally and rests near the aphid colony by day on twigs and branches. It is superbly camouflaged by dark colour patterns and body projections (see photograph in Rotheray, 1993). Adults are usually found near trees in woodland rides and along woodland edges, hedgerows and gardens. A wide range of flowers are visited, especially buttercups Ranunculus sp.

Distribution:

Widespread throughout Britain to northern Scotland, but more frequently reported from southern Britain and scarcer in the northern part of its range. These differences may be partially attributed to recorder effort but until very recently this species has been decidedly scarce.

Status & conservation:

There has been a substantial decline in occurrence over the past 35 years, although there was a recent upturn.

Recorded from 730 hectads since 1990.