49 THE G O L D E N HOVERFLY, CALLICERA SPINOLAE RONDANI AN EARLIER FIRST BRITISH O C C U R R E N C E FROM SUFFOLK A. ASTON In response to my article in Suffolk Natural History 32: 28, Dr. Tony Irwin (of the Castle Museum, Norwich) has kindly sent rae data for an even earlier British occurrence of Callicera spinolae Rondani from Suffolk. I am very grateful to him for permission to quote from his report to The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine for 1975, 3:122: 'While examining a collection of insects made by the Rev. H. A. Harris of Thorndon, near Eye, Suffolk, I found a half-eaten male Callicera spinolae Rondani. The specimen bears a label with 'Thorndon, 26.ix.1924'. To my knowledge this is the oldest British specimen, and one of only two males which have been taken in the country (compared to fifteen females). The other male was recorded by Ivan Perry (1974, Entomolgisl's Ree. J. Var.. 86: 93), who suggested (in litt.) that the apparent dearth of males is caused by different flight habits. Perhaps the males fly high, seldom Coming down to feed. Highflying is known in many other syrphid species. - A. G. Irwin, The Museum, High Street, Ipswich IP1 3QH: January 8th, 1976.' This is a most exciting discovery, not only because it is the first known British record but also because the insect is one of only two males captured in Britain. All the Suffolk records are from the east of the county: Thorndon (1924), Southwold (1928), Brandeston (1942), Monks Soham (1947) and Iken (late 1940s). The dates rĂ¤nge from mid-September to October. The Reverend Harold Augustus Harris joined the Society in 1938 and lived at Thorndon Rectory until he moved to Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, in the 1940s. He was an Honorary Member of this Society and I remember his displays of insects at meetings. It is to be hoped that Dr. Irwin's interesting comments will result in further observations of this species, particularly of males: the females, as Mr. C. O. Hammond noted, sometimes fly quite near the ground. Discussions with Alan Stubbs have revealed that there have been no observations of this rare species in West Suffolk and the latest handbook has been revised accordingly: 'Reference to West Suffolk in the 1983 text should be corrected to East Suffolk.' Reference Stubbs, A. E. (1996). British HoverĂ&#x;ies mology and Natural History Society.
- Second Supplement.
Alasdair Aston Wake's Cottage Seiborne Hampshire GU34 3JH
Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 33 (1997)
Aston, A. E.