Species details

Microdon myrmicae Schönrogge, Barr, Wardlaw, Napper, Gardner, Breen, Elmes & Thomas, 2002


The 'Microdon mutabilis' of earlier works (e.g. Stubbs & Falk 1983) was split by Schonrogge et al. 2002, into two species M. mutabilis and M. myrmicae. Most of the records formerly ascribed to M. mutabilis are believed to relate to M. myrmicae.


The larva is associated with ant nests, and at the moment the principal host appears to be Myrmica ruginodis which is a widespread and common ant that favours cooler temperatures than many others within the genus. Larvae are nost readily found in nests formed in grass tussocks in wet areas. Adults cannot be distinguished from those of M. mutabilis, so records rely on locating and identifying larvae and pupae. Adults are generally found in the vicinity of ant nests and do not appear to visit flowers. They are most often found resting on the vegitation or hovering low over paths and other areas of bare ground.


This seems to be a highly localised species that occurs in southern and western England and Wales, including Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire and Surrey, mid-Wales and Cumbria. Can be reasonably abundant where it occurs.


Lower Risk (Nationally scarce) - Ball & Morris, 2010. Notable - Falk, 1991. Rare (RDB3) - Shirt, 1987.