New soldierfly for Peterborough
A rare soldierfly has been discovered for the first time in Peterborough. Alan Stubbs, Chairman of Buglife found the soldierfly on Thursday evening at Woodwalton Fen National Nature Reserve.
Friday 20th May 2011
The Ornate Brigadier soldierfly (Odontomyia ornata) is not known in this part of the country. The closest records are 80 miles away on the East Anglian coast and inland near Oxford.
|Ornate Brigadier soldierfly (Odontomyia ornata) © Alan Stubbs|
The Ornate Brigadier soldierfly spends one life phase as an aquatic larvae. It is believed to thrive in Ivy-leaved Duckweed in ditches, like those found at Woodwalton Fen Nature Reserve.
Alan Stubbs, Chairman of Buglife and experienced entomologist said: "This find is particularly exciting because it highlights how important this remnant of former extensive wild fenland is for invertebrates".
David Heaver, invertebrate specialist at Natural England said: “It’s unusual for this type of soldierfly to be found so far inland and this is a significant and very interesting find. Woodwalton Fen - one of our oldest National Nature Reserves - is well known for its insect life and we’re delighted it has turned up such an unexpected discovery.” Wood Walton Fen lies at the heart of the Great Fen, a visionary project delivered by fine project partners, creating a 3,700 hectare wetland between Huntingdon and Peterborough. The Great Fen will provide a haven for wildlife and create a massive green space for people, opening new opportunities for recreation, education and business.
Kate Carver, Great Fen Project Manager commented, “this is a most exciting find and shows how wetland habitats nurture biodiversity. The Great Fen will protect and extend these special places”.