Forest; conifer plantation (Picea/Pinus) and acidophilous Quercus woodland. There are insufficient Irish records of this insect to indicate whether its ecology differs here from elsewhere. Its occurrence at the edge of a conifer plantation would be consistent with what is known of P. sticticus in general, but this is an obscure species and rather imprecisely known.
Adult habitat & habits
Clearings and tracksides; largely arboreal, but descends to visit flowers of low growing plants.
May/August and on into September at higher altitudes. Larva: not described.
Cardamine, Euphorbia, Ranunculus, and Stellaria.
Irish reference specimens
In the collections of NMI
van der Goot (1981) and Verlinden (1991), plus Nielsen (1999). The adult insect is illustrated in colour by Stubbs and Falk (1983), Torp (1994) and Bartsch et al (2009a). The only keys to distinguish P. sticticus from the extremely similar P. laskai are those of Nielsen (1999), Haarto and Kerppola (2007a) and Bartsch et al (2009a). The female of P. sticticus can be distinguished from the female of P. laskai using the keys provided by Bartsch et al (2009a).
From southern Sweden and Denmark south to the Pyrenees and northern Spain; from Ireland eastwards through central Europe (plus northern Italy and the former Yugoslavia) into Russia and on to eastern Siberia (Tuva). Although it supposedly occurs through much of the Atlantic zone and in central Europe, it is rarely seen and generally regarded as under threat, or at least as decreasing. Its range extends beyond Europe through much of Siberia.
Added to the Irish list by Speight et al (1975). Re-examination of available Irish material demonstrates that it belongs to P. sticticus and not to the closely similar P. laskai Nielsen described recently (Nielsen, 1999). There is but one confirmed record of this insect in Ireland and it has to be regarded as threatened here. It is a candidate for listing as a species in need of protection throughout Ireland.
Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023
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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.