Species details

Chalcosyrphus piger (Fabricius, 1794)


Added to the British list in 2021 via photographs taken at West Stow Country Park in Suffolk. The photos were posted on the British Hoverflies Facebook page and initially identified at Brachypalpoides lenta. However, European experts recognised that it was in fact C. piger - these two species are very similar in general appearance!  The main differences are that the abdomen is more extensively red, including tergites 3-5 (tergite 5 is black on B. lentus) and the thorax looks less shiny because the puncturation is coarser than that of B. lentus.


The habitas of the adult are reported to be rather similar to Brachypalpoides lentus: they sit on sunny patches on the trunks of trees and sunlit leaves in woodland openings and edges. They will also visit the margins of small water bodies to drink. On the continent, females have been observed to oviposit in sappy hollws caused by woodpecker damage in Pinus and larvae and puparia have been found under the bark of Pinus and Larix in soft, wet material created by burrowing beetle larvae.