This week we’re focusing on the Pine Hoverfly (Blera fallax) which is currently one of the rarest species in Scotland.
This hoverfly is a specialist of Caledonian pine forests, with the larvae aiding in breakdown of natural debris on the forest floor and adults acting as pollinators.
This species is critically endangered and the U.K. population is currently restricted to one site in the Cairngorms. The Pine Hoverfly is so rare that it has not been seen in the wild for 7 years!
The cause of their decline is thought to be lack of suitable habitat. As the Pine Hoverfly needs rotten Scots pine tree stumps more than 40cm in width for their larvae to develop.
The huge decline in numbers has resulted in a collaborative conservation effort involving the Malloch Society, RSPB, Forestry and Land Scotland, SNH and RZSS. The RZSS Highland Wildlife Park has a conservation breeding program for the Pine Hoverfly and in a few years will hopefully be able to start reintroducing their individuals back into the wild!