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Bordered brown lacewing

This exciting species focused project is raising awareness of the very rare Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) and its relatives through surveys and workshops.

The Bordered brown lacewing is currently only known from two sites in Scotland, Holyrood Park in Edinburgh and Muchalls in Aberdeenshire. The record from Muchalls, from July 2018, is the first record of the lacewing at this site since 1916! There are further historic records of this species from Blackford Hill in Edinburgh and St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve near Montrose. As a result of its rarity, the lacewing is classified as a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) priority species and in Scotland is on the Scottish Biodiversity List.

Brown bordered lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) Stirling (C)Suzanne Burgess

Brown bordered lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) Stirling (C)Suzanne Burgess

Through an internship project with Buglife, supported by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), Mike Smith surveyed Holyrood Park in Edinburgh in the summer of 2015 to identify if the lacewing was still present. Although only one specimen of the lacewing was collected during Mike’s survey, in June and from its host plant Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia), the survey proved that the Bordered brown lacewing is still extant in the UK and paved the way for future surveys at the site.

Mike Smith PTES intern surveying for the Brown bordered lacewing (c)Suzanne Burgess

Mike Smith PTES intern surveying for Brown bordered lacewing (c)Suzanne Burgess

Through this current project, surveys were run with volunteers at Holyrood Park, Blackford Hill and St Cyrus NNR in the summer of 2018. During these most recent surveys, volunteers successfully recorded 14 adults of the lacewing along Salisbury Crag in Holyrood Park.

(c) A Lemon

M. hirtus on wood sage (c) Alasdair Lemon

The Bordered brown lacewing project has also run workshops to raise awareness of this rare species, other lacewings and their allies (scorpionflies, snake flies and alderflies).


This internship was funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. This project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage.