Martin Harvey's picture

Hoverfly Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Oxfordshire

Observed: 12th May 2012 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Warburg
Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Warburg-001
Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Warburg-002
Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Warburg-003

This is a rather local and very lovely hoverfly. The female shown here was crawling around in short chalk grassland vegetation and every so often probing the ground with the tip of her abdomen - seemingly odd behaviour for a hoverfly, but this one has larvae that prey on aphids that feed on the roots of plants, and also have some sort of relationship with the ants that tend the subterranean aphids (the hoverfly larvae have been found in the ant nests), so I suspect she was laying eggs.
I always find it quite astonishing to think of these complex underground ecosystems, of which we are often completely unaware.

Species interactions

No interactions present.