Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny by Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny CC by 4.0

Rare Lacewing discovered in Milton Keynes

Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny by Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny CC by 4.0

Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny by Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny CC by 4.0

A rare lacewing, Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae) has been found in Milton Keynes by the well known entomologist Mark G. Telfer who has kindly provided this article.

Sympherobius klapaleki is a brown lacewing in which the basal two segments of the antenna are yellow-brown, strongly contrasting with the remaining segments which are all blackish. The first British specimen was reared from a pupa found on dead oak twigs at Silwood Park, Berkshire, in April 1994 (Whittington, 1998). Three further British records are known to the author, from South Essex, Nottinghamshire and Hertfordshire (Colin Plant and David Gibbs, pers. comms) (Table 1). David Gibbs’ Nottinghamshire record was of a female swept from tree foliage in an area of coniferised woodland.

Table 1: Previous British records of Sympherobius klapaleki in chronological order.

Locality Grid reference Vice county Date Collector
Silwood Park c. SU9468 22 April 1994 Mark Shaw
Larks Wood TQ382928 18 15 Jun 1999 D. Hackett
Shooters Brake, Pittance Park, Edwinstowe (Center Parcs Sherwood Forest) SK6364 56 22 Sep 2007 David J. Gibbs
West Road, Bishops Stortford TL485205 20 31 May 2008 Colin W. Plant
Figure 1: Aerial bottle trap outside a branch socket on the veteran oak at Kingsmead Spinney.

Figure 1: Aerial bottle trap outside a branch socket on the veteran oak at Kingsmead Spinney.

Two females of S. klapaleki were captured by an aerial bottle trap during 11 May to 2 June 2017 in Kingsmead Spinney, Milton Keynes (SP82433381; VC 24). The trap was suspended outside a decaying branch socket on the trunk of a hollow veteran oak Quercus on the southern boundary of the spinney (Figures 1, 2). Flight interception trapping in such a position is intended to capture saproxylic insects (especially beetles) which are either emerging from within the trunk, or are attracted towards access holes into tree trunks. This record of S. klapaleki is suggestive evidence for breeding in oaks but not conclusive; though the two females may have been flying out of or heading into the hollow trunk, it is also possible that they were captured incidentally.

Figure 2: The veteran oak on the southern boundary of Kingsmead Spinney.

Figure 2: The veteran oak on the southern boundary of Kingsmead Spinney.

The Kingsmead Spinney record appears to be the fifth British record and the first record for Buckinghamshire (VC 24), though the records to date are suggestive of a widespread and rather under-recorded species.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Martin Kincaid of The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes, for arranging the survey, and David Gibbs and Colin Plant for sharing records and information.

Reference

Whittington, A.E. (1998). Sympherobius klapaleki Zeleny (Neur.: Hemerobiidae) new to Britain. Entomologist’s record and journal of variation, 110, 288 – 289.