Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Diptera (True flies) ➔ Family Syrphidae (Hoverflies)

Melangyna quadrimaculata (Verrall, 1873)


Synonyms and other combinations:

Melangyna maricolor Enderlein, 1938 |

  • Melangyna quadrimaculata, female  645
    Melangyna quadrimaculata (Verrall, 1873)  Vierfleck-Frühlingsschwebfliege   
    Melangyna quadrimaculata, female, det. Bastiaan Wakkie
    DE, Chemnitz, Harthwald; 2005-04-17 13:12:53
    Image number: 645
    DE, Chemnitz, Harthwald
    2005-04-17 13:12:53
    det. Bastiaan Wakkie

Melangyna quadrimaculata belongs to the subfamily Syrphinae, tribe Syrphini.
Southern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark south to Belgium; from Ireland eastwards through central Europe into European parts of Russia and on through Siberia to the Pacific coast (Sakhalin).
Old deciduous and mixed forest, extensive parks with mature or overmature trees, especially in open and sheltered places.
Body length 8 - 9 mm; body with black base color; female: body completely black, including scutellum and face, forehead with indistinct dust spots; male: abdomen segments 3 and 4 with 2 light spots, eyes hairy.
Similar species:
The females may be easily confused with the females of some cheilosia species, but differ from them by the long dark pterostigma.
Melangyna quadrimaculata flies in one generation from the end of February to May. The hoverflies are active at temperatures above about 10 °C. The arboreal species prefers flowering trees and shrubs [Alnus (alder), Carpinus, Corylus (hazel), Hamamelis mollis (Chinese witch hazel), Lonicera xylosteum (fly honeysuckle), Populus tremula (aspen), Salix (willow), Sambucus (elderberry)]. It is especially common on willow catkins. Sometimes Melangyna quadrimaculata can also be found on low-growing, early flowering plants, such as Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone), Chrysosplenium oppositifolium and Tussilago (coltsfoot).
The larvae of Melangyna quadrimaculata are predators feeding on aphids. Larvae were found at the end of July together with aphids of the family Adelgidae on Abies alba (silver fir). Melangyna quadrimaculata overwinters as a puparium.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Pape T. & Thompson F.C. (eds) (2017). Systema Dipterorum (version 2.0, Jan 2011). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2017 Annual Checklist (Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds.). Digital resource at Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.
  2. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschlüssel für die Schwebfliegen (Diptera, Syrphidae) Deutschlands und der Niederlande, DJN, 1984, ISBN 3-923376-07-3
  3. M.C.D.Speight: Species Accounts of European Syrphidae (Diptera), Glasgow 2011, Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, vol. 65, 285 pp., Syrph the Net publications, Dublin.
  4. Menno Reemer, Willem Renema, Wouter van Steenis, Theo Zeegers, Aat Barendregt, John T. Smit, Mark P. van Veen, Jeroen van Steenis, Laurens van der Leij: De Nederlandse Zweefvliegen (Diptera: Syrphidae), Nederlandse Fauna 8, 2009.