Huebneria affinis at Rye Harbour

26th November 2009, Thursday

On the 20th June 2007 I collected several parasitic flies from shingle to the west of Ternery Pool. Most of these were readily identified, but one left me stumped. I subsequently handed it on to Chris Raper, the national recorder for this group, and yesterday he came back with an answer. It is Huebneria affinis, an extremely rare fly in Britain (RDB1 – Endangered) with only two records, from Folkestone in 1866 and Deal in 1921. Larvae of this species are parasitoids of Arctiid caterpillars (‘woolly bears’ such as Garden Tiger and Cream-spot Tiger), so Rye Harbour is the ideal place for them.

Huebneria affinis