Cheilosia velutina Loew, 1840
Biology & ecology:
The larval host is given as Figwort Scrophularia nodosa by Brischke (1880) but Speight (2010) quotes an American reference, according to which it tunnels the stems of Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre. This is a very poorly-understood species whose habitat requirements are difficult to define. It is most frequently found in mid to late summer amongst a profusion of its close relative, C. proxima, at the flowers of umbels such as Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa.
This species remains poorly known with very few confirmed records, mainly on the eastern side of Britain, including a recent one from near Edinburgh. It is perhaps most likely to be found where there is a profusion of C. proxima; checking a large number of specimens of this common species is essential if C. velutina is to be recorded.
Status & conservation:
There has been a significant decline in occurrence from most parts of Britain over the past 35 years. This change may be an artefact of recorder effort because relatively few modern recorders report the Cheilosini.