Adult habitat & habits
Flies within 3m of the ground, tracksides and along streams in woodland; in moorland or heath may be found far from water; often settles on foliage of low-growing plants or bushes, and on the ground in the vicinity of water.
End May/beginning October. Larva: not described, but has been found in old, wet bark and wood fragments and saw-dust on an old forest sawmill site and from humus-rich mud in an acid fen flush. Also found by Bloomfield (1897) in the bottom of a water-filled ditch draining an exploited peat bog. The morphology of the chorion of the egg is figured by Kuznetzov (1988).
Yellow composites; white umbellifers; Calluna, Filipendula, Knautia, Ligustrum, Polygonum cuspidatum, Ranunculus, Rubus fruticosus agg., Salix repens, Sorbus aucuparia, Succisa, etc.
Irish reference specimens
In the collections of NMI and UM
See key provided in StN Keys volume. The adult insect is illustrated in colour by Bartsch et al (2009b), Kormann (1988), Stubbs and Falk (1983), Torp (1984, 1994) and van der Goot (1986).
From Fennoscandia south through mountainous regions to the Pyrenees; from Ireland eastwards through northern Europe and mountainous parts of central Europe (this species is very local in the Alps) into Russia (and the Caucasus) and on to the Pacific coast and Japan. It is widely distributed in northern and central Europe and in the Atlantic zone southwards to northern France. Further south it becomes more restricted to mountainous country, occurring down to 750m at the southern end of the Pyrenees and at c1500m in the Apennines. Outside Europe, it occurs through Siberia to the Pacific.
Recorded as occurring in Ireland in Coe (1953). S. silentis is generally distributed in Ireland and usually frequent where it occurs.
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.