Sphaerophoria interrupta

Sphaerophoria interrupta (Fabricius, 1805)

Nomenclature:

Sphaerophoria menthastri (Linnaeus) sensu Vockeroth in Stubbs & Falk (1983).

Biology & ecology:

The larva feeds on aphids and other small, soft-bodied Homoptera in the ground layer, and have been found with aphids on White Campion Silene dioica and Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum ssp. holosteoides (Stubbs, 1996). It is typically found in open, wet or moist grassland such as the edges of fen, coastal dunes, and unimproved wet meadows, but it also occurs in damp grassy woodland clearings. Occasionally recorded from chalk grassland. Adults fly low amongst the vegetation and visit a wide range of flowers.

Distribution:

After S. scripta, this is the commonest member of the genus. It is distributed into northern Scotland and is more likely to be encountered in northern areas than S. scripta. Its distribution is patchy, however, with much lower occurrence in eastern England and areas such as mid-Wales and the southern highlands of Scotland.

Status & conservation:

The frequency of occurrence has varied considerably but there has been an upward trend recently. This trend appears to be borne out by experience in the field.

Recorded from 680 hectads since 1990.