Martin Harvey's picture

Robberfly Leptarthrus vitripennis - Buckinghamshire

Observed: 20th July 2012 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Leptarthrus vitripennis - 20-Jul-2012-Funges Meadow-edited-002
Leptarthrus vitripennis - 20-Jul-2012-Funges Meadow-edited-001
Leptarthrus vitripennis - 20-Jul-2012-Funges Meadow-edited

This robberfly arrived at an MV light during a mothing evening at Funges Meadow nature reserve. I didn't recognise it at first, but having checked it closely it turns out to be Leptarthrus vitripennis (male). This is a scarce species in Britain, and one that has mostly been recorded from dry chalk grasslands, whereas Funges Meadow is a small area of river valley neutral grassland in an urban area at High Wycombe, well-managed as an educational reserve by Wycombe District Council. However, another observation of this robberfly was added to iSpot last weekend as well (with a much better photo!), see:
and that was also from a river valley nature reserve, so possibly it is beginning to move into other habitats, or perhaps the hot weather has prompted it to disperse away from its chalk grassland breeding sites. Will be fascinating to see if it turns up anywhere else.
My photos are not great, and were taken in a dusty room so the insect ended up with white speckles on its back that shouldn't be there!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Aschu's picture


Hello Martin,

Currently Reinoud van den Broek and I are working on a Photo-guide of Dutch and Belgian Robberflies. We will add a few species and then the English and Danish species are also complete. It’s will be a low-res pdf-file for free for everyone who’s interested. Just to spread some enthousiasm for these beautiful animals (and we hope that more people will record their observations).

Well, I guess you know already what the question is..
I found your photo's of Leptarthrus vitripennis and we would be very pleased if we may use them for our ‘book’. Off course your name is added.
When we've finished our 'book' you will recieve the pdf.

Regards, André Schulten
Arnhem, Netherlands.