Ainsdale NNR: Xylota sylvarum

Xylota sylvarum (Dr Phil Smith)


This record sent in by Dr Phil Smith this morning has been confirmed by VC59 verifier Glenn Rostron as the Hoverfly Xylota sylvarum. Recorded at Ainsdale NNR on the 17th July 2018. Incredibly this is only the second ever record for the site the previous being from 1959!

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

Biology: The larvae feed in the soft, decaying heartwood of various trees ( Abies, *, Quercus), including deep underground in the roots. They have also been reared from decaying sawdust. It occurs in woodland and scrub, including large hedgerows. Adults are typically seen running rapidly backwards and forwards over sunlit foliage or sun bathing on stumps and fallen branches. They rarely visit flowers 

Distribution: Widespread and common in wooded districts throughout England and Wales, but becoming scarcer further north. In Scotland it is rather local, although widespread south of the Highlands and extends northwards to Aberdeenshire (Stubbs, 1996)


Thanks to Phil and Glenn for sharing the data, which will be added to our knowledge and evidence base for the site.

Details: basking on a bramble leaf in Ainsdale NNR yesterday, 17th July 2018 (SD 30097 11011) Dr Phil Smith.

You can see just how sparsely this species has been recorded in our area on the distribution map below.

The map shows all data currently available to us locally, via iRecord or the NBN Atlas.

Xylota sylvarum data distribution 20/07/2018
Distribution of data on Xylota sylvarum in North Merseyside as of 20/07/2018. 
Records shown at 1km resolution.


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