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Microdon analis

 
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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: Microdon analis Reply with quote

Microdon analis (Macquart, 1842)

NomenclatureIdentification ease/difficulty: 3

StatusHabitat indicator statusSources of information
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Last edited by stuart on Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stuart
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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 737
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.

Microdon analis (Macquart, 1842) Microdon eggeri Mik in Stubbs & Falk (1983)

Biology: The very distinctive larvae live in ants nests. They are hemispherical in shape and heavily armoured, and prey on the eggs and larvae of Lasius niger or ants of the Formica rufa group, under the bark of stumps or decaying trunks of Betula or Pinus, usually on heathland. Their feeding behaviour is described by Barr (1995). The pupae are of a similar shape and are also armoured. Adults are rarely seen, and the species is most frequently recorded by searching for larvae and pupae

Distribution: This species has a disjunct distribution. It occurs in the south of England on the heaths of the London Basin, the Weald, the New Forest and Dorset, and also in heathy valleys in Central Scotland
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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 9:08 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).

MICRODON EGGERI Mik NOTABLE

DISTRIBUTION A disjunct distribution is shown, with records centred on the heathland sites of the London Basin, Western Weald, New Forest and east Dorset in England and then in heathy woods in valleys of the Central Highlands of Scotland.

HABITAT Open heathy woodlands are preferred, occasionally woodland rides on clay soils being used. Dead stumps are a requirement at least in the southern part of its range.

ECOLOGY The armoured, slug-like larvae live as commensals in the nests of ants where they feed on the discarded food pellets of the adult ant. Lasius niger is used at least in the south, and builds its nests under bark or in stumps. In Scotland ants of the Formica rufa group appear to be used, which may lead to different habitat needs, especially with respect to the requirement for dead wood. Adults recorded from March to July and may be found sitting on vegetation near their breeding sites.

STATUS About 25 known post 1960 sites including a handful of Scottish sites, mainly from Speyside. However the area of suitable habitat must be diminishing fast. Status revised from RDB3 (Shirt 1987).

THREAT The clearance of heathland and woodland for agriculture or intensive forestry and the removal of dead stumps at least in the southern sites. The shading out of rides and clearings within woodland sites.

MANAGEMENT Retain any dead wood at southern sites, attempt to produce an open structured wood using coppicing and maintain open rides and clearings. Use rotational heathland management to produce a mosaic of vegetation types in this habitat and prevent scrub invasion, though noting that the control of tree invasion, especially Pinus, can produce the stumps required. In Caledonian pine forests maintain an open structured woodland with a range of ground conditions, noting those most favoured by wood ants.
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