Eriozona syrphoides (Fallén, 1817)
Biology & ecology:
The larva is aphidophagous. It is usually associated with mature conifers (Abies, Picea). In Czechoslovakia, it has been found feeding on the aphid Cinara pineae in established (40 year old) Picea plantations. Adults are usually found visiting flowers along rides or edges in conifer plantations, but they have also been found in deciduous woodland. Males hover in dappled sunshine beneath the canopy.
This species was first reported from Snowdonia in 1968, but an earlier specimen (from Lancaster in 1957) was subsequently located. Recent records are widely scattered throughout northern and western Britain. The species is probably spreading in conifer plantations and a scatter of southern records, including one from East Sussex, show how this species is slowly advancing southwards.
Status & conservation:
There appears to have been a substantial decline in occurrence over the past 35 years, although the height of the initial point in the plot is probably somewhat spurious and due to the burst of enthusiasm for a newly discovered and spectacular species.