In winter 2016, Melanostoma scalare (Meigen) larvae (Diptera, Syrphidae) were found in woodland leaf litter and, in culture, were observed catching and feeding on coo-occurring larvae of Lonchopteridae, Lauxaniidae and Limoniidae (Diptera). Tactile contact with prey elicited capture behaviour. This involved turning prey upside down and piercing the underside with the head skeleton. Initially prey fluids were imbibed with little movement of the head skeleton followed by head skeleton lunging when food was imbibed only during retraction or backwards movement. These data support the idea of Melanostoma larvae are facultative aphid predators and they help to resolve the enigma of high adult abundance versus the scarcity of larval records from aphid colonies.
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