Cheilosia pagana

Cheilosia pagana (Meigen, 1822)

Biology & ecology:

The larva develops in pockets of oily decay in the roots of umbellifers. For example, there is a rearing record from decaying roots of Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris (Stubbs, 1980). Adults are usually found on flowers, often white umbels such as Cow Parsley and Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium, in clearings and rides in woods, on waste ground, roadsides, hedgerows, rough field-edges, etc. There are at least two generations each year and considerable variation between the sexes and generations, making C. pagana a very variable and confusing species.


Extremely widely distributed and often common in all habitats. The maps suggest that this species is less abundant in western and northern areas, which may suggest an association with hotter and drier conditions.

Status & conservation:

Overall, the frequency of occurrence has been relatively stable, but in the uplands it appears to be increasing. These changes may to be an artefact of recorder effort because relatively few modern recorders report the Cheilosini and there has also been a lot of effort put into upland areas in recent years: the data may be skewed as a result. Recorded from 1224 hectads since 1985.

Recorded from 1210 hectads since 1990.