'Extinct' beetle is found on Cumbrian nature reserve

Longhorn beetle by Nigel Gilligan

Longhorn beetle by Nigel Gilligan

First published in News

TWO unusual creatures thought not to exist in Cumbria have been discovered on a local wildlife charity’s nature reserves.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust has had sightings of a longhorn beetle and a dark deerfly on its reserves.

It had been thought that the longhorn beetle had become extinct in Cumbria with the last recorded sighting at Cartmel Fell in 1918, but local insect specialist Nigel Gilligan spotted and photographed the beetle while on a guided wild flower walk at Latterbarrow Nature Reserve, near Witherslack.

“It was about 25mm, and flying with the body at about 45 degrees with the wing cases pointing outwards – it was really clumsy in flight,” said Nigel.

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The adult is black, or brown and black, with red or black legs and antennae.

The dark deerfly was discovered at the trust’s potential new nature reserve, Eycott Hill, near Mungrisdale, and has never been seen in Cumbria before.

The fly is considered rare and is included in the Red Data Book: the definitive guide to the UK’s endangered species.

Local insect specialist David Clarke photographed the fly at a bioblitz at Eycott Hill.

Comments (2)

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9:50am Tue 12 Aug 14

lakesailor says...

Would
"The dark deerfly was discovered at the trust’s potential new nature reserve, Eycott Hill, near Mungrisdale, and has never been seen in Cumbria before."
be on land recently purchased by an unknown buyer?
Would "The dark deerfly was discovered at the trust’s potential new nature reserve, Eycott Hill, near Mungrisdale, and has never been seen in Cumbria before." be on land recently purchased by an unknown buyer? lakesailor
  • Score: 0

11:09am Tue 12 Aug 14

lakesailor says...

A little digging produces some interesting information

"Deer flies are a genus that belongs to the family commonly called horse-flies (Tabanidae). They are smaller than wasps, and they have coloured eyes and dark bands across their wings. While female deer flies feed on blood, males instead collect pollen. When feeding, females use knife-like mandibles and maxillae to make a cross-shaped incision and then lap up the blood. Their bite can be extremely painful, and allergic reaction from the saliva of the fly can result in further discomfort and health concerns. Pain and itch are the most common symptoms, but more significant allergic reactions can develop." Wiki


"Sores at the site of the bite along with fever and a general sense of disability are all common symptoms of an allergic reaction to deer fly bites. The most severe reactions can include hives, vomiting and breathing problems. Repeated bites can increase the person’s sensitivity to the bites, leading to more intense allergic reactions." Ohio State University.



Blencathra Estate, in conjunction with Natural England and Defra, has been investigating recent reports of walkers near the mountain falling seriously ill with reactions to the dark deerfly, which is prevalent and widespread in the area. A spokesman for Lord Lonsdale, the previous owner who recently sold the site to an unnamed and reclusive pop star, said that previous incidents of injury and illness due to the fly had always been treated successfully at the local hospital A&E department in Keswick, but another spokesperson for the Lake District National Park (who requested anonymity in accord with LDNP policy) said that their warnings on the LDNP website to walkers to wrap up well and protect their arms and legs against ticks, keds, midges, wasps, hornets and deerfly had in genral been well-received and acted upon by visitors to the area, who had awarded LDNP 5 stars over 684 times for the perceived quality of its website, according to the latest feedback poll.

Cumbria County Council Health and Social Care Department stated that the risks to visitors were increasing and significant, and it was with great regret that they had to impose a no-fly zone on Blencathra. Visitors who were bitten only had themselves to blame, as warning notices had been posted around the periphery of the mountain, and as a result, treatment for animal-derived infections or illnesses would not, after consultation with Keswick NHS Primary Trust ("Total Care, Total Attention, Total Commitment") be given. However, the new, adjacent, specialist private medical facility (Keswick Cares Inc) had fully appropriate treatment protocols together with fully trained and qualified professionals ready to accept admissions.
A little digging produces some interesting information "Deer flies are a genus that belongs to the family commonly called horse-flies (Tabanidae). They are smaller than wasps, and they have coloured eyes and dark bands across their wings. While female deer flies feed on blood, males instead collect pollen. When feeding, females use knife-like mandibles and maxillae to make a cross-shaped incision and then lap up the blood. Their bite can be extremely painful, and allergic reaction from the saliva of the fly can result in further discomfort and health concerns. Pain and itch are the most common symptoms, but more significant allergic reactions can develop." Wiki "Sores at the site of the bite along with fever and a general sense of disability are all common symptoms of an allergic reaction to deer fly bites. The most severe reactions can include hives, vomiting and breathing problems. Repeated bites can increase the person’s sensitivity to the bites, leading to more intense allergic reactions." Ohio State University. Blencathra Estate, in conjunction with Natural England and Defra, has been investigating recent reports of walkers near the mountain falling seriously ill with reactions to the dark deerfly, which is prevalent and widespread in the area. A spokesman for Lord Lonsdale, the previous owner who recently sold the site to an unnamed and reclusive pop star, said that previous incidents of injury and illness due to the fly had always been treated successfully at the local hospital A&E department in Keswick, but another spokesperson for the Lake District National Park (who requested anonymity in accord with LDNP policy) said that their warnings on the LDNP website to walkers to wrap up well and protect their arms and legs against ticks, keds, midges, wasps, hornets and deerfly had in genral been well-received and acted upon by visitors to the area, who had awarded LDNP 5 stars over 684 times for the perceived quality of its website, according to the latest feedback poll. Cumbria County Council Health and Social Care Department stated that the risks to visitors were increasing and significant, and it was with great regret that they had to impose a no-fly zone on Blencathra. Visitors who were bitten only had themselves to blame, as warning notices had been posted around the periphery of the mountain, and as a result, treatment for animal-derived infections or illnesses would not, after consultation with Keswick NHS Primary Trust ("Total Care, Total Attention, Total Commitment") be given. However, the new, adjacent, specialist private medical facility (Keswick Cares Inc) had fully appropriate treatment protocols together with fully trained and qualified professionals ready to accept admissions. lakesailor
  • Score: 0

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