Sphaerophoria fatarum

Sphaerophoria fatarum Goeldlin, 1989

Nomenclature:

Sphaerophoria abbreviata Zetterstedt in Kloet & Hincks (1976) and Stubbs & Falk (1983) - see Speight (1989). The true abbreviata is a northern Scandinavian species (Speight, 2010).

Biology & ecology:

Larva unknown. It is usually found in open, heathy vegetation, and in the Scottish Highlands. This is one of the characteristic species of wet areas on open moorland and heathland. It also occurs in heathy rides in conifer plantation and other woodland. Adults are usually found by sweeping, but it will also visit flowers such as Tormentil Potentilla erecta and buttercups Ranunculus sp.

Distribution:

This is a frequent species in Scotland and northern England where it is often the commonest member of the genus. It also occurs in Wales and on heathland in southern England, where it is scarce but widely distributed on Calluna heath.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence is very variable, but there is an overall downward trend. This is a taxon that requires microscopic examination and likely to be overlooked by the majority of recorders.

Recorded from 132 hectads since 1990.