Species Account for Catharosia pygmaea
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Taxonomic group: flies (other) (Diptera: other groups) - County data
Catharosia pygmaea on Tachinid Recording Scheme website
Essex Red Data List comment
Recorded from 5 out of 57x10km.sq. records in county
Catharosia pygmaea was first recorded in Britain in 1996 from grassland with invading scrub on made-up ground on a disused railway line in Coventry. A closely related north American species has been reared from lygaeid bugs, and the Coventry specimens were swept from floristically diverse ruderal grassland, tall herb or scrub foliage supporting the lygaeid bugs Drymus sylvaticus, Heterogaster urticae, Kleidocerys resedae, Peritrechus geniculatus, Scolopostethus affinis, S. grandis and Taphropeltus contractus (Falk, 1998). The first Essex records of this parasitic fly were from silt lagoons at Rainham (1998), and then from Canvey Wick (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003). A specimen brought home with several flowerheads of Carrot to photograph displayed an interesting behaviour. Unlike the related parasitic fly Gymnosoma nitens, which appears to nectar on Carrot flowers, the Catharosia pygmaea did not appear to feed, but rather moved rapidly around on the top surface, periodically disappearing between flowers to remain underneath for some time, before reappearing. It may have been looking for potential host bugs. Lygaeid bugs recorded in the same area were Nysius ericae and Peritrechus nubilus, as well as the rhopalid bug Stictopleurus punctatonervosus. Lygaeid bugs recorded at the site are Drymus latus, Heterogaster urticae, Ischnodemus sabuleti, Megalonotus chiragra, Megalonotus emarginatus, Nysius ericae, Peritrechus geniculatus, Peritrechus nubilus, Scolopostethus affinis and Stygnocoris sabulosus. References