Species details

Platycheirus clypeatus (Meigen, 1822)


Speight & Goeldlin (1990) and Goeldlin et al. (1990) split Platycheirus clypeatus into a complex of species, separating off P. europaeus, P. occultus and P. ramsarensis. Records of "P. clypeatus" that predate this split may relate to any of these species unlessĀ  a specimen is available for redetermination.


The early stages of this common species require further investigation. The larva is rarely found at aphid colonies, and may be a generalised predator within the litter layer. It is found in all sorts of grassy situations, but most abundantly in damp grassland including pond, stream and ditch margins. Adults fly low down amongst tall vegetation and are easily found by sweeping. They also visit a wide range of flowers including sedges and grasses.


Of the segregates from the P. clypeatus complex, this remains by far the commonest and most widespread, occurring throughout Britain although it has shown a marked decline in the frequency with which it is recorded over the last few decades.