Myopa buccata

    Alternative names
    Variegated Spring Beegrabber
    Description

    Our most striking Myopa with a number of unique characteristics. The inner cross vein r-m is whitish without the dark spot found in other spring-flying 'bearded' Myopa species; the side of the head behind the eyes (the occiput) has 1 to 4 brown spots; the wings also have milky-white patches that help create a disruptive camouflage when it is sitting on blossom. Males have distinct dust patches on the reddish tergites but these are poorly formed in females. The size and appearance is much more variable than in other Myopa species, with a body length that can vary from 7 to 12 mm.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.

    Habitat

    Usually seen visiting spring-blossoming shrubs such as Blackthorn, hawthorns, Crab Apple and Rowan; also Wood Spurge, Bilberry, dandelions and Ground Elder.

    Life History

    The larvae are endoparasites of bees. It seems to use a variety of Andrena hosts but possibly with a preference for those in the closely related subgenera Andrena and Hoplandrena, including species such as A. synadelpha, A. fucata, A. lapponica, A. scotica and A. ferox.

    UK Status

    M .buccata is widespread and fairly frequent – it becomes the commonest Myopa in Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map