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Bordered brown lacewing

The Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) is one of the rarest insects in the UK. This project is running workshops to raise awareness of lacewings and their relatives and training volunteers how to survey for this very rare species.      

Since 1982, only one adult Bordered brown lacewing has been recorded in the UK from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. There are 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. Given the conservation status and the poor knowledge of its current distribution there is a pressing need to determine its status in the UK.

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 this very rare lacewing was still present. Although only one specimen of the lacewing was collected in June from its host plant Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia), this survey has proven that the Bordered brown lacewing can still be found in the UK. Mike determined that as only one specimen was collected, this either reflects low population levels or a short flight season early in the summer that was missed by the surveying period.  Because of this nothing could be discerned about the ecological requirements of the Bordered brown lacewing through his study. Mike recommended that surveying work continue in subsequent years with a focus on Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crag within Holyrood Park for the Bordered brown lacewing.

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

The Bordered brown lacewing project is running workshops to raise awareness of this rare species, other lacewings and their relatives. Additionally, several surveys are being organised at Holyrood Park as well as at known historic sites to train volunteers how to survey for this species and to help us determine the size and distribution of the population.

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

 

 

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