Sphaerophoria loewi

Sphaerophoria loewi Zetterstedt, 1843

Biology & ecology:

Larva unknown. Adults have been found in brackish reed-beds (usually Common Reed Phragmites australis, but also Sea Club Rush Scirpus maritimus at Leighton Moss) at a few coastal localities. It is likely that the larvae feed on aphids or other soft-bodied Homoptera in this habitat. It has been suggested that the adult is active very early in the morning, but there are several recent records made in the middle of the day. Adults fly amongst stands of tall vegetation, usually remaining over the water, but they occasionally visit flowers.

Distribution:

A very rare species known only from a few widely separated coastal localities. The common feature in these localities seems to be the presence of brackish marsh. There is a recent report from Bedfordshire (O'Sullivan & Plummer, 2011) of a confirmed population breeding in a former clay pit with marginal vegetation composed of Common Reed and Sea Club Rush (which is indicative of saline influences).