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Rare caddisfly uncovered on Chobham Common
The rare window-winged caddisfly (Hagenella clathrata) has been discovered on Chobham Common during surveys carried out by Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Riverfly Partnership (RP).
The window-winged caddis is an attractive insect that flies during the day from the beginning of May and into June in the south, while northern populations still fly into July. Adults have distinctive orange and black mottled wings and are most often spotted resting on vegetation in damp tussocky areas. Shrubs such as birch and aspen may be important for swarming adults and the small pools of water found between grassy tussocks provide habitats for their larvae.
It is a Biodiversity Action Plan species, having been prioritised for conservation by the Government as it is found in only a few raised bogs and heaths (namely in North Wales and northern Scotland) and its numbers are declining in the UK. SWT is working closely with the RP with the aim of conserving the window-winged caddisfly and this important find on Chobham Common (which SWT manages on behalf of SCC) reveals only the second site in southern England still known to support the species (it was formerly recorded on Witley and Thursley commons and, until now, was thought only to exist on Whitmoor Common).
Scotty Dodd, SWT invertebrate ecologist, said: “The recent discovery at Chobham Common suggests that the species may still be found in other areas. Recent catastrophic fires have wiped out vast areas of its core habitat at Whitmoor Common and it is therefore all the more important that survey and monitoring inform site management where the species is still hanging on and doing well. We are developing monitoring strategies with Dr Ian Wallace (RP) and welcome photographic records from the public who may encounter this rare heathland gem whilst visiting Surrey’s heaths.”
Please contact Scotty Dodd, SWT invertebrate ecologist, on tel 07799 894154 / email email@example.com to report any sightings.
|Date published:||Monday 18 July 2011|