hoverfly Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Oxfordshire

hoverfly Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Oxfordshire

Observation - hoverfly Xanthogramma citrofasciatum - Oxfordshire - UK and Ireland. Description: 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 lar

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.