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Platycheirus melanopsis

 
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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: Platycheirus melanopsis Reply with quote

Platycheirus melanopsis Loew, 1856

Identification ease/difficulty: 4

StatusSources of information
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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.

Platycheirus melanopsis Loew, 1856

Biology: The larvae of this species have recently been found for the first time (Rotheray, 1997), and he suggests that they may feed on the scale insect Arctothesia cataphracta (Homoptera: Ortheziidae) which is frequent amongst the roots of montane plants. It is found in mountains on calcareous rocks, at medium to high altitude in alpine grasslands and open structured Pinus woodland from about 260-300m upwards. Males tend to hover low over roads or bare areas on tracks

Distribution: Recent work by the Malloch Society suggests that this is quite a widespread species in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands, especially in Perth and the Cairngorms. It is also recorded from the Lake District. Records from Wales and southern England are probably misidentifications, although there seems no reason why the species should not occur on mountains in Snowdonia and the Pennines
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stuart
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Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 737
Location: Peterborough, UK

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).

PLATYCHEIRUS MELANOPSIS Loew RARE

DISTRIBUTION The few records known for this species are from the Central Highlands of Scotland (Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Easterness, Westerness, West Ross, Argyllshire) and the Lake District (in Westmorland).

HABITAT Montane habitats, exceeding 1000 m in Perthshire and the Cairngorms though it may also extend into valleys at altitudes below the tree line. At Creag Meagaidh NNR, Westerness where the species was recorded in abundance on south facing slopes in 1983, a preference was shown for altitudes between 510m and 790m in Calluna or Vaccinium heath. At Braeriach in the Cairngorms recent captures were also for a south-facing slope, in Deschampsia caespitosa grassland at 1050m.

ECOLOGY Larvae probably aphidophagous though details unknown. Adults recorded in June and July, males characteristically hovering close to the ground over roads and bare tracks.

STATUS A highly restricted species with four known post 1960 sites: Coille Choire Chuilc (1979, 1985) and Ben Lawers NNR (1977), Perthshire; Creag Meagaidh, Westerness (1983); Braeriach, Cairngorms (1986) and Ben Lui, Argyllshire (1979).

THREAT Afforestation of upland areas and drainage of boggy areas and flushes which may support the required vegetation. Skiing and excessive trampling could have a local impact through soil erosion and a loss of vegetation.

MANAGEMENT Prevent excessive disturbance on mountainous areas retaining any boggy areas. Resist ski developments that may have an extensive influence on montane habitats and limit the damage caused by trampling in areas receiving high public pressure, such as by the re-routing of paths.
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