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

Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae

  • Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae  3592
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae     
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, det. Gerard Pennards
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2010-06-13 13:21:41
    Image number: 3592

    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2010-06-13 13:21:41
    det. Gerard Pennards
  • Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae  3593
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae     
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, det. Gerard Pennards
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2010-06-13 13:27:24
    Image number: 3593

    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2010-06-13 13:27:24
    det. Gerard Pennards
  • Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, female  722
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae     
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2006-06-17 15:01:28
    Image number: 722
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2006-06-17 15:01:28

  • Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, female  816
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae     
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2006-06-17 15:01:04
    Image number: 816
    female
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2006-06-17 15:01:04

  • Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, mating  896
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae     
    Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae, mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2009-06-13 13:21:53
    Image number: 896
    mating
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2009-06-13 13:21:53


Classification:
Microdon mutabilis/myrmicae belongs to the subfamily Microdontinae, tribe Microdontini.
Distribution:
Europe.
Habitat:
Microdon mutabilis: Open terrain, sparsely vegetated, dry, rocky ground.
Microdon myrmicae: wetlands (swamp forest, moors, wet grassland, wet heathland).
Especially in places where ant nests can be found suited for the development of the Microdon larvae.
Description:
Body length 9 - 12 mm; scutellum reddish brown; abdomen black with rows of silvery to yellow hair; arista at the base of the last antenna segment.
Microdon myrmicae is on average slightly smaller than Microdon mutabilis.
Biology:
Adults fly in Europe from May to July.
The larvae of the genus Microdon live in ant nests, where they feed on ant larvae, possibly also on eggs. A Microdon larva eats more than a hundred ant larvae until it pupates. The nocturnal Microdon larvae are on the prowl at night when the diurnal ant larvae are inactive. The larval stage lasts about 11 months. The pupation takes place near an exit of the ant nest.
Annotation:
Microdon mutabilis and Microdon myrmicae can only be distinguished by larval or pupal characters.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschl├╝ssel f├╝r die Schwebfliegen (Diptera, Syrphidae) Deutschlands und der Niederlande, DJN, 1984, ISBN 3-923376-07-3
  2. 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.
  3. 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.