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

Xanthogramma citrofasciatum (De Geer, 1776)

Frühe Gelbrandschwebfliege

  • Xanthogramma citrofasciatum, female  3439
    Xanthogramma citrofasciatum (De Geer, 1776)  Frühe Gelbrandschwebfliege   
    Xanthogramma citrofasciatum, female, det. amaira
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald; 2010-05-17 13:13:12
    Image number: 3439
    DE, Chemnitz, Zeisigwald
    2010-05-17 13:13:12
    det. amaira

Xanthogramma citrofasciatum belongs to the subfamily Syrphinae, tribe Syrphini.
From southern Norway south to Iberia; from Ireland eastwards through central and southern Europe into European Russia and the former Yugoslavia; the Caucasus; western Siberia.
Open ground: Calcareous grassland; mesophilic grassland; dry, warm grassland and heathland, often near forest or shrubs; up to the montane zone.
Body length 10 - 12 mm; eyes bald; thorax with yellow side stripes; abdomen oval, with 3 pairs of narrow yellow spots on tergits 2 - 4; legs orange/yellow.
Similar species:
The similar Xanthogramma pedissequum has wider and triangular yellow spots on the 2nd tergit.
Xanthogramma citrofasciatum flies from April to June, in southern Europe with a second peak in August. Adults fly through low vegetation and often settle on the nest mounds of ants of the genus Lasius. They visit the flowers of Convolvulus, Euphorbia, Scabiosa and Taraxacum. The males hover at about half a meter above the ground.
Larvae of Xanthogramma citrofasciatum were found in the ant nests of Lasius alienus and Lasius niger. Little is known about the early larval stages. The larvae probably live, as do the other species of the genus, as predators of the ants-tended aphids. Pupation takes place at a suitable spot at the edge of the nest. The pupal stage lasts about a month.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Gerald Bothe: Bestimmungsschlüssel für 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.
  4. Speight, M.C.D. & Sarthou, J.-P. (2014) StN keys for the identification of the European species of various genera of Syrphidae (Diptera) 2014 / Clés StN pour la détermination des espèces Européennes de plusieurs genres des Syrphidae (Diptères) 2014. Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, Vol. 80, 125 pp, Syrph the Net publications, Dublin
  5. Graham E. Rotheray: Colour Guide to Hoverfly Larvae (Diptera, Syrphidae) in Britain and Europe, Dipterists Digest No.9, 1993, Derek Whiteley, Sheffield, England, ISSN 0853 7260