Insect thought extinct in Britain rediscovered in Hebridean garden


An insect species which was believed to be extinct in Britain has been found in a garden in the Outer Hebrides.

Limnephilus pati, a caddisfly, was presumed to have died out with no records of it in Britain for more than 100 years. However, a male was photographed when attracted to a light-trap being run by Robin Sutton on South Uist and has now been confirmed as the species.

A Limnephilus pati caddisfly, which was believed to be extinct in Britain but has been found in a garden in South Uist (Robin Sutton).

Craig Macadam, Buglife's conservation director, said: "It is really exciting that this species, thought to be extinct, has been rediscovered in the British Isles. We don't know a lot about its requirements, but the discovery of this new population means that we might be a step closer to working out what has driven the declines of this species elsewhere."

Mr Sutton made the find in July. It is among 23 species of caddisfly that he has captured in his garden. He said: "I’ve been running a light trap on the Outer Hebrides for over four years but I couldn't believe that the only location for a species thought to be extinct in Britain was in my back garden. It goes to show how much we still have to find out about these far-flung places."

South Uist is rich in habitats for caddisflies, with numerous small lochans, clear, low nutrient streams and extensive machair habitats. Populations of Limnephilus pati are also believed to exist in the Isle of Man and Ireland.