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Xanthandrus comtus

 
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stuart
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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 737
Location: Peterborough, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:39 pm    Post subject: Xanthandrus comtus Reply with quote

Xanthandrus comtus (Harris, [1780])

Identification ease/difficulty: 2

StatusSources of information
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stuart
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Peterborough, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject: Species account from the Provisional atlas Reply with quote

Species account from Provisional atlas of British hoverflies, Ball & Morris, 2000.

Xanthandrus comtus (Harris, 1780)

Biology: The larvae prey on gregarious caterpillars of yponomeutid and tortricid micro-moths. It occurs in woodland edge (deciduous and coniferous) and scrub where adults are usually found visiting flowers or resting on vegetation in clearings or along tracks

Distribution: Although relatively frequent in older collections, this species underwent a period of decline and came to be regarded as a great rarity. It has evidently recovered, as there are numerous recent records at widely scattered localities throughout the southern half of Britain, and it has recently been found in Scotland (Rotheray, 1992). Records remain very erratic, however, and there are few sites where it occurs regularly. This could possibly indicate that this species is a migrant
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stuart
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Data sheet from National Review of Diptera, Falk, 1991 Reply with quote

Datasheet from the Review of Scarce and Threatened Diptera, Falk (1991).

XANTHANDRUS COMTUS (Harris) NOTABLE

DISTRIBUTION Predominantly a species of southern England though with records extending to North Wales and the Scottish Highlands (Elgin, Banffshire).

HABITAT Exact requirement unclear, records include woodland rides and edges and scrubland.

ECOLOGY On the continent the larvae have been found feeding on a range of micro moth caterpillars including semi-gregarious tortricoid and yponomeutid moths on both shrubs and herbs; at Shoreham, Kent recently, a larva was found on a hogweed leaf. Adults recorded from May to October.

STATUS An uncommon and somewhat elusive species, though not perhaps as rare as previously thought. Though always regarded as scarce, there was a marked sparsity of records in the 1950s-1970s, but it seems to have become more frequent, with a total of almost 30 known post 1960 sites, including some on the fringes of London. Many records are autumnal, a time when recording is reduced, so it may be overlooked to some extent. Status revised from RDB2 (Shirt 1987).

THREAT Clearance of wood and scrub areas for agriculture or intensive forestry. The shading out of rides and clearings within woodland.

MANAGEMENT Maintain open rides and clearings, and copses on more open areas, ensuring the presence of a variety of vegetation types including shrubs.
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