22 December 2010
A caddisfly species has been found for the first time in the UK. The insect, discovered by Stuart Crofts, was found near a small stream flowing through woodland near Masham, North Yorkshire. The last time a new species of caddisfly was found in the UK was in 1965.
|The caddisfly Synagapetus dubitans, newly discovered in the UK|
Caddisflies are fascinating, spending the majority of their life as larvae in freshwater before emerging as adult flies. They are pollution sensitive insects and commonly used as a litmus test for the health of the environment. They help support healthy bird and fish populations as they provide an important food source and they are often imitated by fly-fishermen in their artificial flies to catch fish.
Synagapetus dubitans, is a small caddisfly of around 5mm. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I identified it” said Stuart Crofts, a former international fly fisherman and Coordinator of the Adult Caddisfly Occurrence Scheme. “To find a species new to the UK is amazing, a great honour and very humbling experience”.
“The discovery of a new species of caddisfly in the UK is fantastic news.” said Craig Macadam, Conservation Officer with Buglife. ”Springs and seepages in woodlands can be very important habitats. Now that we know this species is here we can help to protect its habitat.”
“Stuart’s find demonstrates the exciting discoveries that can to be found on our doorstep” said Bridget Peacock, Director of the Riverfly Partnership. “2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, celebrating the diversity of life, and to record a new riverfly species to the UK is wonderful”.
Riverflies include mayflies (Ephemeroptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera) and stoneflies (Plecoptera) - a total of 278 species in the UK.
Synagapetus dubitans is also known from France, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy.
Stuart Crofts works as a fishing guide in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. He has been studying riverflies for 20 years.
The Adult Caddisfly Occurrence Scheme is part of the Riverfly Recording Schemes - which promotes the study and recording of caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies in the United Kingdom.
The Riverfly Partnership brings together anglers, conservationists, entomologists, scientists, water course managers and relevant statutory agencies to protect the water quality of our rivers, increase our knowledge of riverfly populations and actively conserve their habitats. Buglife and the Riverfly Recording Schemes are founder members. For more information visit www.riverflies.org. The Riverfly Partnership is hosted by the Salmon & Trout Association www.salmon-trout.org.
International Year of Biodiversity 2010. The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity. http://www.cbd.int/2010/welcome/.