violet leafwalker

(Chalcosyrphus chalybeus)

Conservation Status
violet leafwalker
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Chalcosyrphus chalybeus is a large, wasp mimicking hoverfly. It is found in North America east of the Great Plains. It is said to be common but there are relatively few reported observations. This may be due to the appearance and behavior, both of which mimic blue mud wasps.

Adults are ½ to in length.

The head is black with some white hairs. The face is concave. The female has white markings on the face. On the male the large compound eyes meet at the top of the head but before the three simple eyes (ocelli). The antennae are short and black. The third segment is wider and is longer than the remaining segments combined.

The upper side of the thorax is iridescent bluish-black and shiny. It may appear black, blue, or purple, depending on the angle of the light. It is covered with short black hairs and has some longer white hairs in the shoulder (humeral) area. The sides of the thorax are black. On the underside, the plate covering the last segment (metasternum), the segment bearing the hind legs, is covered with hairs.

The abdomen is metallic bluish-black to black and is covered with short black hairs.

The legs are completely black and are covered with short, bristly, black hairs. The third segment (femur) on the hind leg is large and flattened. The fourth segment (tibia) of the hind leg is slightly curved.

The wings are brownish-black and iridescent. In some light, they appear mostly blue with purple at the tip and along the inside margin.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ½ to

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Damp forests and swamps

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May to early August

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

It flicks its wings when at rest, mimicking the behavior of a wasp.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Rotting dead wood

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  12/24/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Fairly common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)  
 

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  No Rank Eremoneura  
  No Rank Cyclorrhapha (circular-seamed flies)  
  Section Aschiza  
 

Superfamily

Syrphoidea  
 

Family

Syrphidae (hover flies)  
 

Subfamily

Eristalinae  
 

Tribe

Milesiini  
  Subtribe Xylotina  
 

Genus

Chalcosyrphus  
  Subgenus Xylotomima  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Syrphus violascens

Xylota purpurea

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

violet leafwalker

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

Share your photo of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
Alfredo Colon
       

... was flapping its wings like a wasp

  violet leafwalker   violet leafwalker
       
  violet leafwalker    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

Share your video of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.

       
       
Other Videos
 
       
       
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Alfredo Colon
6/15/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

... was flapping its wings like a wasp

violet leafwalker


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.