Submitted by AJ Cann on Tue, 03/04/2018 - 09:59
Portevinia maculata

The Ramsons (Wild Garlic) are up in the woods, which means that Ramson Hoverfly (Portevinia maculata) almost certainly is too. More...

We have few records of this species in Leicestershire and Rutland, even though it's relatively easy to identify. This is a medium-sized black hoverfly related to Cheilosia with large grey dust-spots on tergites 2 and 3 of the males. The larvae develop in the stem bases and bulbs of Ramsons and the very sluggish adults can normally be observed sitting on the leaves (or on nearby foliage), particularly in April and May when the plant is flowering. This is a widespread but localised fly, often present at good stands of the food-plant in woods but sometimes absent for reasons that are unclear. Steven Falk has an excellent guide to identifying this species so whenever you smell garlic in the woods - please look out for this one!