Thursday, 30 July 2015

'Extinct' fly found in Devon nature reserve

30 July 2015 

A fly thought to be extinct in the UK has been found in a Devon nature reserve.

The rhaphium pectinatum was last recorded in Britain 147 years ago in 1868 but was rediscovered in Old Sludge Beds on the outskirts of Exeter.

The fly is from the Dolichopidiae family, a group known as long-legged flies, and is usually found in tropical parts of the world.

Devon Fly Group member Rob Wolton said he was surprised by the find.

The last recorded sighting was on 19 July 1868 when the Victorian entomologist George Verrall caught a male and female at Richmond in south-west London.
'Brackish conditions'

Mr Wolton, who is also a member of Dipterists Forum, which specialises in the study of flies, said: "Imagine my surprise when I examined my catch that evening to find it included a fly that was presumed extinct in Britain.

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