MWT Biological Surveying off to a Flying Start!

Cyzenis albicans   

Biological surveying has got off to a flying start with a new species for the Island recorded at one of our nature reserves!
Cyzenis albicans fly

Cyzenis albicans

Biological surveying has got off to a great start this year with a new species for the Island recorded at Manx Wildlife Trust's (MWT) Close e Quayle Nature Reserve!

The fly, Cyzenis albicans, is one of the parasitic flies, laying its eggs on the leaves of oak, birch, maple and other trees. When the caterpillars of the Winter Moth consume the leaves, the eggs of the fly enter the caterpillar, hatch into maggots and parasitise the caterpillar. For this reason, in some countries such as the USA the fly has been imported and used as a biological control of the Winter Moth.

rove beetle, Paederus riparius

Rove beetle, Paederus riparius

At the same visit a rove beetle, Paederus riparius was spotted. As the warning colours suggest, it needs to be handled with care as the female's haemolymph (fluid equivalent to blood in most invertebrates) causes blistering and a rash. The irritant is called Paederin.

Cyzenis albicans fly

Cyzenis albicans   

Steve Crellin, who made the finds, is one of several local naturalists helping MWT gain more insights into the flora and fauna on MWT nature reserves. 

If you are interested in joining MWT's Invertebrate group, where we survey sites and identify invertebrates, contact Dawn Colley, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn@mwt.im. You don't need any prior knowledge and we will help you learn on the way!