Baccha elongata


Species Biology

Preferred environment

Forest, both coniferous and deciduous, both young and old; also in scrub woodland, hedgerows and suburban gardens. B.elongata occurs in Ireland in most types of deciduous woodland, with the exception of birch woods, for which there are few records. It does not seem to occur in conifer plantations in Ireland, except where deciduous scrub is also present (e.g., along forest roads), suggesting that under these circumstances it is dependent not on the crop trees but on the deciduous scrub. This species is to a significant extent anthropophilic, occurring in the standard Irish farmland landscape of green fields and hedges and in mature suburban gardens.

Adult habitat & habits

Flies within woodland, usually within 1 - 3 metres of the ground and as much in the shade as in the sun; seldom ventures far into open areas.

Flight period

April/June and July/September or October. Larva: eggs described and figured by Chandler (1968); larva and 11 puparium described and figured by Dusek & Laska (1960b) and Goeldlin (1974) and larva figured in colour and differentiated from other related genera in the keys provided by Rotheray (1994); aphid feeding, on tall herbs, e.g. thistles (Cirsium), bushes and trees. Dussaix (2005a) reared the species from larvae found on Aquilegia, Digitalis, Euphorbia, Hieracium, Hypochaeris, Sambucus nigra and Sonchus.

Flowers visited

Compositae, Rosaceae and Umbelliferae, Hedera etc.

Irish reference specimens

In the collections of NMI and UM


van Veen (2004). The male terminalia are figured by Dusek and Laska (1967). The adult fly is figured in colour by Stubbs and Falk (1983), Torp (1984, 1994), van der Goot (1986) and Kormann (1988). There has been considerable uncertainty as to the status of B.obscuripennis (Meigen), which is now usually regarded as a junior synonym of B.elongata. Features used for separation of the males of B.obscuripennis from those of B.elongata are of doubtful value and there are no features (van der Goot, 1982) for separating the females. Here, the case for recognition of B.obscuripennis as a separate species is regarded as unproven and it is regarded as a synonym of B.elongata.


World distribution(GBIF)

Scandinavia to the Mediterranean; central Spain eastwards to Greece and Ireland eastwards into European parts of Russia. This species is also known from the Azores (Rojo et al, 1997). B.elongata is both frequent and widely distributed over most of Europe, including Ireland. Surprisingly enough, it is, however, apparently endemic to Europe.

Irish distribution

B.elongata is both frequent and widely distributed over most of Europe, including Ireland.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2022

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Speight, M. C. D. (2008) Database of Irish Syrphidae (Diptera). Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 36. National Parks and Wildlife Service. Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland.

Speight, M.C.D. (2014) Species accounts of European Syrphidae (Diptera), 2014. Syrph the Net, the database of European Syrphidae, vol. 78, 321 pp., Syrph the Net publications, Dublin.