Myolepta potens

Myolepta potens (Harris, 1776)

Biology & ecology:

The larvae are filter-feeders that inhabit water-filled rot-holes and have been found in rot-holes in Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastaneum, although it has been found in rot-holes in other deciduous tree species in the past.

Distribution:

This species was originally recorded from Loxley Wood in Somerset and the Bristol area but was last seen in 1961 when six larvae were found by J.C. Hartley in a rot-hole at Ashton Court not far from Combe Dingle. Despite many searches, it has not been found again in either area. Ball & Morris (2000) believed it to be extinct in Britain. Subsequently, larvae were found at Moccas Park NNR, Herefordshire in rot-holes in Horse Chestnut in 2002. Further survey showed that a strong population exists on this site utilising rot-holes in a variety of tree species. A new site in the Forest of Dean was reported by Phillips (2009) with suggestions that this species may be more widely distributed in that district.