Golden-tailed Hoverfly

Xylota sylvarum


Wing length 7 - 12mm. A black hoverfly with a bright yellow tip to the abdomen. There are two similar species but sylvarum is slightly larger and has black on the lower part of its hind tibiae. The other species, xanthocema has all yellow hind tibiae and is much rarer.


Mostly woodland, the larvae develop in rot-holes, fallen trees and rotting roots, feeding on the decaying wood.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread in southern Britain, less common in Scotland. Common in Nottinghamshire but only recorded twice at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

May to August.