Brachyopa scutellaris - Brachyopa scutellaris

Description

All four British Brachyopa species have an orange/brown abdomen and grey thorax (note that the thorax has no bristly hairs as some flies do). Brachyopa scutellaris and Brachyopa pilosa can be separated from the other two Brachyopa species as the scutellum is orange with no grey dusting at the front edge. However these two species cannot be further separated however without detailed examination.

Photo ID?
Habitat

Both species favour sap runs near to the ground. In the case of B. scutellaris the tree may be Ash, Elm or Yew whilst B. pilosa strongly favours Beech. As there was no Beech present in the area where the photograph below was taken the likelihood is that our species is Brachyopa scutellaris, which is also the more likely to occur in the Leicestershire and Rutland area.

When to see it

April to August peaking in May/June

Life History

Larvae of Brachyopa species live in sap runs or in decaying sap under the bark of fallen trees. Adults can often be found hovering very near to their breeding sites but they also visit flowers, particularly Hawthorn and Apple.

UK Status

Brachyopa scutellaris is the most widespread species of the genus and is to be found throughout England and into Scotland and Wales, but by far the most records come from the extreme south of England. Brachyopa pilosa is far less common and records are concentrated around the London area.

VC55 Status

Uncommon. There are only occasional records for Brachyopa scutellaris in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map