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.


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.