Missing Royal found more than twenty-five years since last sighting

Wednesday 23rd July 2014

Buglife’s Alan Stubbs and Dr Sarah Henshall found a male Royal Splinter Crane fly, Gnophomyia elsneri, the first species record since 1986.   

This extremely rare fly is associated with wet wood mould in decaying beech trees and is only known from two locations in the world: High Standing Hill, Windsor and a one off recording from a light trap in Slovakia. This is only the third time this fly has ever been recorded.

The key issue for future survival of the species lies in ensuring there is a continual resource of old beech trees providing dead and decaying wood, a constant problem. Crown Estates are working with experts to preserve and enhance the deadwood resource at High Standing Hill.  

Dr Sarah Henshall of Buglife commented. “ Being only the third person ever to lay eyes upon a live specimen of this rare species is an incredible privilege but also a deep concern as its rarity coupled to the diminishing supply of dead and rotting beech raises real questions about the long term species survival.”