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Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms

The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms partnership project is working to improve the conservation fortunes of some of the Cairngorms National Park’s rarest invertebrate species. 

The Cairngorms National Park is a unique and special place supporting a wide range of invertebrates. ‘Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms’ aims to improve the conservation fortunes of six very rare insect species in the Cairngorms National Park. The six species are: Kentish glory (Endromis versicolor), Dark-bordered beauty (Epione vespertaria), Northern silver-stiletto fly (Spiriverpa lunulata), Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax), Small scabious mining bee (Andrena marginata) and Shining guest ant (Formicoxenus nitidulus).


This project aims to increase our understanding of the distribution and habitat needs of each species through surveys and observations with the help of local volunteers. The project is working with landowners to promote the management of land that enables these species to thrive and spread.


The six species were selected due to their rarity and as they are under-recorded and poorly understood. The Cairngorms National Park is one of, if not their main, UK stronghold and each species is included in the park’s biodiversity action plan. Finally, each of these species is a flagship for the habitat in which they reside; for example, Small scabious mining bee in wildflower rich grasslands and bare ground habitat, Pine hoverfly in ancient Caledonian pinewoods and Northern silver stiletto fly in river shingle.


RIC has a team of dedicated volunteers who help to carry out the training. We encourage volunteers from all backgrounds and ages – all they need is a passion for nature and the outdoors. We provide all the training and equipment needed. If you would like to get involved, contact


You can keep up to date with the project by following on Facebook and Twitter.


This project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER 2014-2020 programme and is led by five partners: Buglife, RSPB Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Butterfly Conservation Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.