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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

20 June, 2016

Villa cingulata: the downland bee-fly



This is a unique photograph! It is the first photograph of the first specimen of the downland bee-fly (Villa cingulata) to be found in Dorset. What is unknown is whether this is a long standing resident that has evaded the eye of Dorset entomologists in the past or whether it is a new species that is starting to colonise the chalk downland in the north of the county. 
As its name implies, it a species that likes south facing slopes on chalk and limestone downland where they have a particular passion for umbelifer flowers, especially wild parsnip.
This is nationally rare species found mainly at a nature reserve in the Chilterns with occasional other records from the Cotswolds. It may have once been more common as there are historical records from other sites where it has not now been recorded for some time.Only time will tell if this is a species expanding its range. If more records now appear for Dorset then it is spreading its wings, if not then it is probable that there is a small, long standing colony in just one place.
Villa cingulata: the downland bee-fly