Extinct Caddis Fly found in Assynt

March 19th 2010

A caddisfly last seen in Britain in 1881 has turned up in Scotland.  The tiny insect was discovered by David Pryce, one of the co-ordinators of the Riverfly Recording Schemes.  It was found beside a river in Assynt, in north west Scotland while David was undertaking field work for his PhD at the University of Stirling.

The Pincer-tailed caddisfly (Hydroptila tigurina) is a micro-caddisfly, measuring around 3mm, which lives in fast, stony rivers.  The only other record of this species is from Ambleside, Cumbria in 1881 and it was thought that after nearly 130 years with no records, this species may be extinct in the UK.

This new record, over 350 miles north of the previous record, raises the possibility that this species may turn up in other areas.

“Many riverflies have suffered a dramatic decline in numbers in recent years.  To find a species over a century after it was last recorded is fantastic news” said Buglife’s Conservation Officer for Scotland, Craig Macadam.  “Hydroptila tigurina is only found in a handful of countries in Europe.  This new record represents the first record of this species in Scotland.”

3rd March 2010

 

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Great Northern Diver

single bird in almost complete breeding plumage, Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (15/10)

Great Skua

single bird over Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (15/10)

Pink-footed Goose

single skein of c130 birds heading south-east over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (14/10)

Otter

single animal crossing road at Culag River bridge, Lochinver (DAH) (14/10)

Long-tailed Tit

noisy, active flock of c12 birds, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (14/10)

Common Dolphin

two small, very active pods (12 and 6) off Clachtoll (DAH) (13/10)

Great White Egret

single bird feeding along north-east side of Loch Borralan (Les and Liz Pearce). This is the first known record of this Grey Heron sized bird in Assynt. It also follows on from Les and Liz adding Little Egret to the Assynt bird list last September! (Photo Gallery - Birds) (12/10)

Redwing

c60 birds, Clashnessie (DAH) (12/10)

Map