The Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax), is an endangered hoverfly and confined to just two localities in Inverness-shire.
It breeds in holes and roots of live and dead pine containing wet, decaying wood. Probably as a result of the way pine woods have been managed in the past, natural breeding sites are now very rare. The Pine hoverfly was included in SNH’s Species Action Framework and the Malloch Society is managing a project to implement conservation measures to protect, maintain and expand existing populations.
Pine hoverfly (Belera fallax) © Bastiaan Wakkie
To overcome the lack of breeding sites, artificial ones have been created by cutting holes in pine stumps and by sinking into the ground, plastic pots filled with pine wood chips and sawdust. These have been successful in attracting the Pine hoverfly to breed.
Work is now underway to find out how to make the artificial breeding sites work in the best way. Data on water levels and microbe populations in the breeding sites is being studied to work out the conditions required for optimising breeding success. It is hoped that the outcome of this work, together with the management of pine woods in a fashion that is sensitive to the requirements of the Pine Hoverfly will ensure the survival of this original pioneer of the Scottish landscape.
|Cutting hole in pin stump for Pine hoverfly © Iain MacGowan|