Rhingia rostrata (Grey-backed Snout)
Once a rarity, R. rostrata has shown a dramatic spread across southern Britain since about 2000, and is now locally frequent in many districts with records extending north to Cumbria (2021). It is easily distinguished from R. campestris by its greyish thorax (pale grey in the female and darker grey in the male) and the orange abdomen that lacks dark lateral stripes and has only the weakest median stripe at its base. The snout is slightly shorter than campestris.

This species is rarely found away from woodland and visits much the same flowers as R. campestris e.g. thistles, Bluebell, and Devil's-bit Scabious. Indeed the two often fly alongside each other. The larvae seem to primarily develop in deer or badger dung with eggs apparently laid on foliage close to such dung but they have alos been bred from highly eutrophic hoverfly lagoons (Ellie Rotheray: hoverflylagoons.co.uk/rhingia-rostrata/).

The recent increase may well be linked to a combination of climate change and burgeoning Roe Deer and Muntjac numbers, though it can occur in deer-free areas. It has been suggested that old, dry dung largely devoid of other coprophilous invertebrates is favoured.

NBN map:
species.nbnatlas.org/species/NBNSYS0000007011
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