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Bog hoverfly eDNA

Understanding bog hoverflies

Little is known of the ecology of the bog hoverfly (Eristalis cryptarum). It is a rare species in the UK, only found at a handful of sites on Dartmoor.


The bog hoverfly is an elusive species and the larval stages have not been identified. Since this life stage is most dependant on a particular habitat, and little is known about what conditions it prefers, there is a need for research to develop alternative survey methods that target the larval stages and field observations to learn more about its ecology.

Wild Planet Trust, in partnership with the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA), the John Spedan Lewis Foundation and the University of Exeter, has conducted research to identify unique genetic sequences for the species and help detect bog hoverfly DNA in water samples. This environmental DNA approach is being used increasingly for the detection of elusive species.


Mitson, C. (2019). Construction of a robust phylogeny facilitates development of an environmental DNA-based survey tool for the bog hoverfly, Eristalis cryptarum. MRes thesis, University of Exeter.