Superb Ant-hill Hoverfly

Xanthogramma pedissequum


Wing length 7 - 9.5mm. This is one of the brightest hoverflies that you are likely to find. The lemon yellow markings on the matt black background, mostly lemon yellow legs and dark wing shades, make it a truly superb insect. There are some very similar species that have only recently been identified so care must be taken to separate X. pedissequum from X. stackelbergi. This can be done by counting the spots on the side of the thorax. X. stackelbergi has five.


Grassland and open woodland, often near paths where there is bare ground. The larvae feed on aphids within the nests of ants. At Netherfield Lagoons the best places to find them are along the Lower Path and Wheelchair Ramp, although they can turn up beside most of the paths.

Status and distribution

Restricted to the southern half of Britain, although there seems to be a range expansion northwards. It is scarce in Nottinghamshire but a common insect at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

May to September.