Sphaerophoria batava

Sphaerophoria batava Goeldlin, 1974

Biology & ecology:

Larva unknown. Records which give habitat details most frequently refer to open rides in conifer woods (including native Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris woods in Scotland, and conifers planted on dunes on Anglesey) where specimens have been swept from heather or found on flowers such as Tormentil Potentilla erecta. Other records mention deciduous woodland and heathland. Adults are usually swept from tracksides or clearings or found visiting flowers. In our experience the common feature is the presence of Heather Calluna vulgaris and it seems likely that there is an association with aphids linked to this plant.

Distribution:

A scarce but widely distributed species, with the majority of records from southern England, but extending to northern Scotland where it is well-established in the Spey Valley and surrounding pine woods. It is also known from Culbin Sands on the Moray Firth.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence shows considerable variation but the number of records is too small to draw any conclusions. However, the range has declined significantly.

Recorded from 88 hectads since 1990.