Xanthogramma citrofasciatum

Xanthogramma citrofasciatum (De Geer, 1776)

Nomenclature:

Xanthogramma festivum (Linnaeus, 1758).

Biology & ecology:

The larva has been found under turf and stones, and in Lasius nests, where it was once claimed they were fed by worker ants. In fact, it is more likely that they feed on ant-attended root aphids. It is generally found in grassy places such as meadows, coastal grazing marsh, large gardens and woodland rides, and is frequently associated with dry grassland on chalk and limestone. Such situations suggest that the yellow ant Lasius flavus may be a likely host species. Adults fly low amongst the vegetation and visit a variety of flowers.

Distribution:

This is much the least frequent of the two Xanthogramma species, and whilst widely scattered over the southern half of Britain north to the Lake District, it remains rather scarce. The majority of records are from calcareous grassland habitats.

Status & conservation:

No obvious trend.

Recorded from 237 hectads since 1990.