Silver Colonel - Odontomyia argentata

Description

A mostly dark Odontomyia with small orange markings at the side margins of the tergites. Males are instantly recogniseable due to the silvery tergites (angle of view can affect how obvious these are). Females are more uniformly darkened and resemble broadly-built O. tigrina (which has entirely black tergites). However, the elongate first antennal segment (twice as long as segment 2) distinguishes this species from all other Odontomyia.

Photo ID?
Habitat

The favoured habitats are fen and marsh. Both sexes visit flowers like Hawthorn and Willow and males have been reported to hover in small groups with their silvery abdomens shimmering conspicuously.

When to see it

Adults have an early flight period for a soldierfly - late April to early June.

Life History

In Britain, the larvae have been found in the shallow water of pools. Abroad they have also been reared from moss, flood debris and decaying wood.

UK Status

This is a rare species with a scattering of sites across southern and eastern Britain often in calcareous districts.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland where there are only three records that we know of to April 2015.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map