At the moment.... mostly about moths

Monday, 27 April 2009

Meligramma trianguliferum

A few days ago I found this hoverfly, as usual at the moment, in our garden:

Meligramma trianguliferum

Initially I couldn't identify it and posted it to Flickr hoping for some ID advice. Fortunately Tim Ransom from jersey was able to help. Of course when I look in Stubbs and Falk, THE guide for UK hovers, then it becomes obvious that it's this species. I guess it takes time to get your head around the many species of hoverflies that occur in the UK. As usual Thanks to Tim for the help.

As it turns out this is quite an interesting fly, maybe the most scarce species I've yet recorded. Stubbs and Falk report it as being widespread but scarce, occurring in spring in association with shrubs such as Hawthorn, which we do have in the garden. Checking the hoverfly recording scheme map for this species here agrees with Stubbs and Falks statement. For the most part M. trianguliferum occurs from the home counties north to the peak district and across to East Anglia. There are few records further north to Scotland, but nothing from Wales or the West country. There are no sightings from East Kent! One observation is that most of the records are from since 1990. Does this reflect increased amount of hoverfly recording activity or an increase in the incidence of this species? I suspect it's the former but I'll need to check more species at the scheme to see if they all have this pattern.

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