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There is much debate as to the validity of taxonomic distinctions between the two species M. labiatarum and M. compositarum. The range of each species is more clearly defined.
Melangyna labiatarum records come mainly from England and are denser in the south. The species shows a preference for feeding on umbellifers such as Hogweed and favours sunlit glades in areas with some tree cover, including deciduous trees. Melangyna compositarum is associated with coniferous woodland and is mainly recorded from Scotland and the far north of England.
As our photographs were taken in exactly the type of area and location favoured by Melangyna labiatarum it is almost certain that this is the species shown. The fact that it is photographed on Hogweed adds further weight to the argument.
April to October/November peaking between June / August.
Each species is frequent in its preferred areas, but the issue of authenticity of identification clouds all of these records.
Neither species has been much recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland, although Melangyna labiatarum may well be fairly frequent in our area.
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