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Xylota is a genus of hoverflies similar in structure to the related genera Chalcosyrphus and Brachypalpoides. As the larvae are saprophytic in rotting wood the adult flies are generally found associated with woodland and woodland edges and can often be seen running over the upper sides of leaves. Unlike other syrphids the adults of many species rarely visit flowers preferring instead to gather pollen from leaf surfaces. There are over 100 described species of which 12 can be found in Europe. Seven species have been recorded in Britain.