robberfly Leptarthrus vitripennis - Buckinghamshire

robberfly Leptarthrus vitripennis - Buckinghamshire

Observation - robberfly Leptarthrus vitripennis - Buckinghamshire. Description: 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 t

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:
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/281494

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!