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