Pipiza heringi Zetterstedt, 1843: 844.
Pipiza geniculata Zetterstedt, 1843: 839.
Pipiza leucogona Zetterstedt, 1849: 3185.
Heringia zetterstedtii Rondani, 1856: 53.
Pipizella pallipes Andreu, 1926: 103.
Penium dubium Lundbeck, 1916: 67.
H. heringi is regarded by some authors as a mixture of two species, H. heringi and H. senilis Sack. Claussen et al (1994) were unable to find consistent differences that supported this subdivision and this situation has not changed subsequently. Authors who continue to recognise H. senilis as a separate species have failed to provide any additional features to substantiate their action. Jones (2001), for instance, refers to the same features as used by Claussen et al (1994), but re-interprets them, claiming constancy in differences between H. heringi and his "H. senilis", in both length of the basoflagellomere and shape of a sclerite (post-anal lamella) of the male terminalia. He also regards colour of general body hairs, and in particular the colour of the hairs on the mesonotum (wrongly cited as "dorsum of pronotum" in Jones's key) as diagnostic, H. senilis being regarded as white-haired and H. heringi "dark" haired. It is not clear how the identity of the many specimens with mixed white and dark hairs, intermediate-length basoflagellomere and intermediate post-anal lamellae would be decided. In the present text the case for recognition of H. senilis as a separate species is regarded as unproven. H. heringi does occur in a wide range of forest types, however, and its larvae live in galls on trees and shrubs of very different type e.g. Laurus, Pistachio, Populus, Prunus, so its apparent variability might be indicative of the existence of a number of very similar species (rather than just two) under the same name (from Speight 2010).
H. heringi may be found in flight with H. hispanica and the two species are virtually indistinguishable in the field, though males of H. hispanica are usually slightly larger than those of H. heringi. H. hispanica is unusual in that the wing-vein Sc ends in the costa either opposite or basal to the cross-vein r-m, a feature not found in other Heringia species and generally regarded as characteristic of Pipizella.
Flowers visited by adults: Alliaria, Allium ursinum, Anthriscus, Caltha, Hypericum, Prunus spinosa (Speight 2010).
Larvae have been reported feeding on aphid genera Aphis, Aploneura, Baizongia, Brachycaudus, Dysaphis, Eriosoma, Forda, Geoica, Hyalopterus, Myzus, Pemphigus, and Tretaneura (Aphididae), and on Trioza alacris (Psyllidae) (Rojo et al. 2003).
Larva of H. heringi was described and figured by Dusek and Laska (1959). Larval biology was described by Dusek and Kristek (1967), Kurir (1963) and Rojo et al (1999). Larvae are predators of gall-making or leaf-curling aphids or psyllids on various trees, e.g. Populus and Ulmus, fruit trees e.g. Malus, Prunus spp., Pyrus, shrubs e.g. Laurus, Pistachio and live within the aphid galls, one larva per gall being normal. In the case of Laurus nobilis, Rojo et al (1999) observed that it was characteristically the young plants, less than 1 m tall, on which H. heringi larvae were found. Rojo and Marcos-Garcia (1997) established that from oviposition to production of a puparium takes three weeks and that the adult hatches from the puparium after two weeks, during the summer. The larvae overwinter in diapause, which ends in April/May.
Flight period: from end of April to July, with occasional specimens in August (Speight 2010).
Species ranging from southern Norway to southern Spain and the Mediterranean (including Crete); from Ireland eastwards through central and southern Eurasia to Greece, Roumania, Turkey and European parts of Russia, and Mongolia (Speight 2010).
Adult flies low among the foliage of bushes and within lowgrowing vegetation, at the edge of clearings or along paths, usually in partial shade; visits flowers in partially shaded situations; comes out into the open to sun-bathe on the foliage of low-growing shrubs in the evening (Speight 2010).
Species known from deciduous forest (Fagus, Quercus), including alluvial hardwood forest, plus broad-leaved evergreen forest (Q. ilex / Q. suber), orchards and sometimes suburban gardens (where fruit trees are present) (Speight 2010).