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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 18, 2017

The rediscovery of Orthoceratium lacustre (Scopoli, 1763) (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) in Belgium, with data on its ecology and distribution in the Palaearctic region

  • Marc Pollet EMAIL logo , Anja De Braekeleer , Christopher Martin Drake and Frank Van de Meutter
From the journal Biologia


Upon recent rediscovery of the dolichopodid Orthoceratium lacustre (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) in Flanders (northern Belgium) three sites with potential habitat of the species in Flanders were visited in September 2016. The survey revealed the presence of a population of the species at each site. In order to explain its apparent absence in Flanders for nearly the past 40 years, information on the distribution, ecology, phenology and conservation status of the species was gathered from the literature and available data sets and databases. O. lacustre has a western Palaearctic distribution and occurs in northwestern Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle-East. It clearly prefers coastal salt marshes and brackish marshes in the first region, but also occurs near open water in forests at higher altitudes in the two latter regions. Whereas it reaches its activity peak in September in northwestern Europe, its main activity is situated at least two months earlier in the southern part of its distribution range. It is considered very rare in both Flanders and the Netherlands, nationally scarce in Great Britain, and currently extinct in Germany. A very strict habitat affinity, unusual phenology and/or effects of collecting methods seem responsible for its previous Red list status as ‘extinct in Flanders’.


Thanks are due to Rui Andrade and Gordon Ramel who kindly provided MP with a large set of valuable dolichopodid samples from Portugal and Greece respectively, and metadata on the corresponding surveys. Henk Meuffels put the basic data files on Dutch Dolichopodidae at MP’s disposal. Laurence Clemons helped with detailed habitat information of this species in Kent (UK). We are also grateful for the permission granted by Koen Maréchal and Paul D’hoore, conservators of the Monikkenwerve and Het Zwin Nature Reserve respectively, to carry out the 2016 survey in their reserves. The British map was derived from the recording package MapMate and some records in this map were downloaded from the UK National Biodiversity Network Gateway ( We would also like to thank INBO colleague Hilbran Verstraete for his advice with logistics. And finally, we are truly indebted to one of the referees who suggested a re-examination of Mediterranean samples which ultimately revealed the presence of an undescribed species of Orthoceratium.


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Appendix 1 Novel distribution records of O. lacustre in Europe retrieved from EURODOL and two satellite databases (Pollet, pers. databases)

BELGIUM: 2 ♂♂, 1♀, West-Vlaanderen, Dudzele Noord (ES1484), 19.x.2012, YPT, leg. Frank Van de Meutter; 1♂, Knokke (ES1988), 5.ix.1921, leg. M. Goetghebuer; 1 ♂, 3 ♀♀, Knokke, Het Zwin NR (ES2490),, leg. M. Goetghebuer; 1 ♂, same location, (collector unknown); 1 ♂, same location, 3.vii.1955, leg. L. Marnef; 2 ♀♀, same location, 8.vii.1978 (collector unknown); 1 ♂, Knokkeaan-Zee (ES1988), 5.ix.1921, leg. M. Goetghebuer; 1 ♂, 7♀♀, 25.ix.1921, same data; 2 ♂♂, 3 ♀♀, 14.ix.1924, same data; 1 ♂, 1♀, 17.ix.1924, same data; 1 ♂, same location, 7.ix.1955, leg. M. Bequaert; 1♀, same location, 17.x.1969, leg. Jean Verbeke.

Samples collected during the 2016 survey: 14 ♂♂, 16 ♀♀, West-Vlaanderen, Dudzele (ES1481), 22.ix.2016, SW, leg. Anja De Braekeleer; 7 ♂♂, 8 ♀♀, same data, leg. Marc Pollet; 7 ♂♂, 6 ♀♀, Knokke, Het Zwin NR (ES2590), 22.ix.2016, SW, leg. Anja De Braekeleer; 6 ♂♂, 16 ♀♀, same data, leg. Marc Pollet; 3 ♂♂, 12 ♀♀, Lissewege, Monikkenwerve NR (ES1482), 22.ix.2016, SW, leg. Anja De Braekeleer; 3 ♂♂, 7♀♀, same data, leg. Marc Pollet.

GREECE: 1 ♂, North Aegean Isl., Lesvos, 4.8 km NE Achladeri, “Derbyshire”, 18.v.2000, SW, leg. Marc Pollet; 2km W and 10km E of Skala Kalloni, 19.v.1995 and 25.v.1995, leg C.E. Dyte; Ionian Islands, Corfu, Dassia, 4.v.1972, leg. A.E. Stubbs (two last records from unpubl. data, C.E. Dyte).

NETHERLANDS: 1 ♀, Friesland, Ameland, duinen N. vliegveld (FV72),, leg. M.J. Delfos; 1 ♂, Terschelling (FV51), 22.viii.1977, leg. v. Vierssen c.s. (see Meuffels, 1981); 1 ♂, Zeeland, Cadzand (ES 29), 15.ix.1989, leg. B. v. Aartsen; 1 ♂, 15-20.ix.1989, same data; 1 ♂, 2♀♀, Cadzand, Het Zwin NR (ES 29), 18.ix.1990, leg. B.v. Aartsen; 1 ♂, Yerseke, Yerseke Moer (ET 70), 22.ix.2012, leg. Niels-Jan Dek; 1 ♂, Zuid-Holland, Ouddorp (ET64), 9.x.1990, leg. B.v. Aartsen; 1 ♂, 1♀, 15.ix.1992, same data; 19, 16.ix.1992, same data.

PORTUGAL: 2 ♂♂, Beira Litoral, Lousã, Lousã, 700m, 20.vii.2011; 1 ♂, Douro Litoral, Canidelo, Vila Nova de Gaia, Reserva Natural Local do Estuàrio do Douro (Cabedelo), 7.5m, 14.x.2010, both SW, leg. Rui Andrade.

Received: 2016-11-11
Accepted: 2017-1-2
Published Online: 2017-2-18
Published in Print: 2017-1-1

©2017 Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences

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