The Lacewing fauna of Nottinghamshire
..
Over the past number of years, it has often seemed to be that whenever trying to raise the profile of an Order, or Family of invertebrates; then more often than not, we open with a statement declaring how infrequently studied that particular Order, or Family has been for many years.
..
So it may not be too surprising to learn that Neuroptera (Lacewings) probably beat many other invertebrate Orders and Familys, in suffering from a lack of coverage stretching several decades.

Lacewings are well known insects and usually recognisable as being such to those members of the public, even those with little knowledge of natural history.

 
.......
Lacewing (Neuroptera) recording in Nottinghamshire

Many people often presume that there is just a single species of Green Lacewing and confidently identify it as such. On the face of it correct, but there are a number of green-coloured Lacewings. Their identification is not always that straight forward, but not as difficult as you might have previously thought. A specimen is usually required though and good photographs from all angles helps greatly.

The lack of any large number of Lacewing records from within Nottinghamshire (VC56), must surely be down to the belief of most naturalists that their identification is difficult and that the potential number of similar species is high.......its not. In our own recording of the county's invertebrates, we (like many others) have really left Lacewings well alone. From our own persective, this was most definitely by believing there were hundreds of species, most similar to each other and most in need of dissection to determine to species level. For this reason alone, when we submitted nearly 53,000 records to the NBN Atlas in June 2018, only two of them were of Lacewings.

But things are not as bad as many (including ourselves until recently) would believe. The UK species list actually only comprises around 70 species of Lacewing and most can be keyed out from the keys provided in Colin Plant's AIDGAP publication 'A key to the adults of British lacewings and their allies', © Field Studies Council, 2016.

.......
Species and historical Nottinghamshire records listed by Carr

J.W. Carr's 1916 book 'The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire' published by J.& H. Bell Ltd, Nottingham, provides historical records for a total of 27 species. Most of these were recorded by a very small number of naturalists, who were active in the county around the late 1800's and early 1900's. The most active Lacewing recorders were Lady Robinson (producing records from the Clumber Park and Worksop areas), J.T. Houghton (Shireoaks) and the Rev. Alfred Thornley (North/South Leverton and Treswell Wood).

We have to assume that all identifications were correct and in Carr's opening statement to the Order, he thanks 'Mr Kenneth J. Morton of Edinburgh, for his constant and valuable help in the determination of these insects'. There have been frequent changes in the nomenclature of many species, with very few of those names in Carr's book still in use today. Where names have changed, we have included that used by Carr within the historical account for that species.

.......
CHRYSOPIDAE
CHRYSOPA Leach in Brewster, 1815
Chrysopa pallens (Rambur, 1838) ... This is Chrysopa septempunctata (Wesmael) in Carr's book. Carr lists a number of records, suggesting that this was one of the more commonly recorded Lacewings a century ago. As with many other species, Carr opens his account with records from the well recorded locations of Shireoaks (Houghton), Worksop (Lady Robinson), Stapleford (Dawson) and North Leverton (Shaw). There are then several dated records for Mansfield Road (Nottingham) in July 1903, at Nottingham during July 1910 to 1913 and again June 1914, with a record from Ollerton, Sherwood Forest in July 1912 (Carr).
.......
Chrysopa perla (Linnaeus, 1758) ... Common even a century ago, with Carr listing undated records from Shireoaks (Houghton), South Leverton (Thornley), Treswell Wood (Shaw) and Stapleford (Dawson). Chrysopa perla records with at least the year of occurrence included from both Worksop (Hodding, H.E.) and Cotgrave in 1913, Owthorpe and Ollerton (Carr) in 1914. Several specimens were taken from Sherwood Forest in 1903, with a record from nearby Budby Carr. The earliest date appears to be from Langford Moor near Newark in 1899.
.......
Chrysopa phyllochroma Wesmael, 1841 ... Once again there are records from Shireoaks (Houghton) and Worksop (Lady Robinson), from where it was described as being 'common'. The only other records Carr mentions, are from East Leake in 1912 and Nottingham in 1914.
.......
CHRYSOPERLA Steinmann, 1964
Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens, 1836) ... For many years, Chrysoperla carnea was thought to be a single species. However, it was Leraut (1991, 1992) who suggested that there were actually four species involved. Chrysoperla renoni (Lacroix), Chrysoperla lucasina (Lacroix), Chrysoperla kolthoffi Leraut and Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens), are morphologically indistinguishable from each other (although C. lucasina remains green over winter. All four species can be recognised by variations in the vibrational songs used during courtship.

Listed in Carr as Chrysopa vulgaris (Schneider), the discovery that there are actually four species involved, render Nottinghamshire's historical records of Chrysoperla carnea obsolete. But for completeness, we have reproduced the records listed in Carr's book. These records include Shireoaks (Houghton), South Leverton (Thornley) and Stapleford (Dawson).

.......
CUNCTOCHRYSA Hölzel, 1970
Cunctochrysa albolineata (Killington, 1905) ... Listed as Chrysopa tenella (Schneider) in Carr's book, with records from Bulwell Hall Park in 1912 and Nottingham in 1914. Carr also quotes records from both Shireoaks (Houghton) and Worksop (Lady Robinson).
.......
DICHOCHRYSA Yang, 1991
Dichochrysa prasina (Burmeister, 1839) ... This is Chrysopa prasina (Rambur) in Carr, who lists just four records from South Leverton (Thornley), Worksop (Lady Robinson), Sherwood Forest near Edwinstowe in 1911 and Calverton in 1914 (Saunt).
.......
Dichochrysa ventralis (Curtis, 1834) ... In Carr's book this is Chrysopa ventralis (Curtis). Seems to have been historically scarce with Carr listing only two undated records from South Leverton (Thornley) and Nottingham (Saunt).
.......
NINETA Navás, 1912
Nineta flava (Scopoli, 1763) ... Listed in Carr as Chrysopa flava (Scopoli). There are a number of records dating between 1912 and 1914 from most of the regular sites including Shireoaks (Houghton), Worksop (Lady Robinson), Treswell Wood, both North and South Leverton (Thornley), Holme Pierrepont (Robinson, F.M.), Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Nottingham.
.......
Nineta vittata (Wesmael, 1841) ... This species appears to be the one Carr lists as Chrysopa alba (Brauer 1851) in his book. As with the previous species, there are enough records to indicate that it was a widespread species a century ago. Carr goes on to list records from Shireoaks (Houghton), Worksop (Lady Robinson), North Leverton (Shaw), South Leverton and Treswell Wood (Thornley), Nottingham, Epperstone Park (Saunt), Stapleford (Dawson) and Aldercar Wood at Newstead.
.......
NOTHOCHRYSA McLachlan, 1868
Nothochrysa capitata (Fabricius, 1793) ... There is just a single record listed in Carr's book, of one taken at Sherwood Forest in 1908 (Donisthorpe).
 
CONIOPTERYGIDAE
CONIOPTERYX Curtis, 1834
Coniopteryx tineiformis Curtis, 1834 ... Just one record mentioned in Carr's book, from Thorney in 1913 (Carr, L.A.).
.......
CONWENTZIA Enderlein, 1905
Conwentzia psociformis (Curtis, 1834) ... Carr lists two records from Sherwood in Nottingham and (Market) Warsop in 1913.
 
SEMIDALIS Enderlein, 1905
Semidalis aleyrodiformis (Stephens, 1836) ... Four records are given by Carr in his account for this species. These include Nottingham in 1901 and East Leake in 1911, a record from Upton near Southwell (beaten from Ash and Oak) in 1913 and from Fiskerton (from Pyrus malus) in 1913.
 
HEMEROBIIDAE
HEMEROBIUS Linnaeus, 1758
Hemerobius atrifrons McLachlan, 1868 ... Carr lists just two records. These are from Worksop in 1908 (Lady Robinson) and from Owthorpe in 1914 (Saunt).
.......
Hemerobius humulinus (Linnaeus, 1761) ... Is Hemerobius humuli (Linnaeus) in Carr's book. This species appears to have been widely recorded in Nottinghamshire around century ago, with Carr listing records from Clumber Park (Lady Robinson), Worksop (Houghton), South Leverton (Thornley) and Treswell Wood (Shaw, E.). He continues with records from Cuckney Hay Wood and nearby Nether Langwith, Linby and Aldercar Wood at Newstead, Crow Hill Wood at West Leake and Epperstone Park in 1913 and 1914.
.......
Hemerobius lutescens (Fabricius, 1793) ... Described by Carr as 'common' with all the county's records occurring between the inclusive dates of April 27th and September 24th. Sites mentioned by Carr include Arnold, Bramcote (Robinson) Trowell, Tollerton (Saunt), Widmerpool, Aldercarr Wood at Newstead, Sherwood Forest, Thorney, Epperstone Park and several others.
.......
Hemerobius micans Olivier, 1792 ... There are records from Shireoaks, Clumber Park (Lady Robinson), North and South Leverton, Treswell Wood (Thornley) and from both Thorney and Epperstone Park in 1913.
.......
Hemerobius simulans Walker, 1853 ... Listed in Carr's book as Hemerobius orotypus Wallengren 1870) and with a number of historical records including Ollerton in 1901 (Rev. W. Becher), from Aspley Woods in 1912, Sherwood Forest near Edwinstowe in 1913 and on two dates in 1914 from Owthorpe (Saunt).
.......
Hemerobius stigma Stephens, 1836 ... Carr only gives a single mention of this Lacewing, rather vaguely mentioning 'Worksop district' (Lady Robinson).
.......
MICROMUS Rambur, 1842
Micromus angulatus (Stephens, 1836) ... There is just a single historical record of two specimens at Sherwood Forest in September 1913.
.......
Micromus paganus (Linnaeus, 1767) ... Considerably more common a hundred years ago than the previous species, with numerous records in Carr's book. As with the majority of historical records, most records date to 1912 to 1914, which seem to have been the years when most recorders took an active interest in Lacewings. Records listed by Carr include Shireoaks (Houghton), Worksop (Hodding, H.E.) Clumber Park (Lady Robinson) Treswell Wood (Thornley) Aspley Woods in 1912, the Dumbles at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in 1913. There are additional records from Bulwell (Robinson, F.M.) and Edwalton (Saunt) and Sherwood Forest near Ollerton in 1914 (Carr, L.A.).
Micromus variegatus (Fabricius, 1793)
.......
SYMPHEROBIUS Banks, 1904
Sympherobius elegans (Stephens, 1836) ... Is listed in Carr's book as Hemerobius striatellus Klapalek, with Carr opening his account of the species, by stating that 'it was first recognised as a British species by Mr K.J. Morton, from a specimen sent from Nottinghamshire'. Carr continues his account, stating 'it was taken in 1913, but the exact locality cannot be ascertained [see Morton in Entomologist, Aug.1914, p.211]. First captured at Burton Joyce in 1904 and subsequently at Linby in 1914'. (The Burton Joyce specimen was recorded in The Entomologist, Feb. 194, p.67, as H. elegans Steph, a species with which H. striatellus has hitherto been confused).
.......
WESMAELIUS Krüger, 1922
Wesmaelius concinnus (Stephens, 1836) ... Listed in Carr as Hemerobius concinnus Stephens and described as 'common' at Worksop in 1908 (Lady Robinson), yet there is no mention of any other records from anywhere else in Nottinghamshire.`
.......
Wesmaelius nervosus (Fabricius, 1793) ... Referred to in Carr as Hemerobius nervosus Fabricius and with undated records from Shireoaks (Houghton), Worksop (Lady Robinson) and South Leverton (Thornley) and from Epperstone Park in 1913.
.......
Wesmaelius quadrifasciatus (Reuter, 1894) ....... In Carr this species is listed as Hemerobius quadrifasciatus (Reuter). There are just two quoted records from Worksop in 1908 (Lady Robinson) and Edwinstowe (Sherwood Forest) in 1912 (Carr, L.A.)
.......
Wesmaelius subnebulosus (Stephens, 1836) ... Listed in Carr's book as Hemerobius subnebulosus Stephens. Historically described by Carr as being 'common throughout the county and very common in Nottingham gardens between the months April and September'.
 
SISYRIDAE
SISYRA Burmeister, 1839
Sisyra fuscata (Fabricius, 1777) ... Carr mentions just four records (Hemerobius nitidulus (Fabricius) in his book), so this species seems to have been more restricted in range than some others. Carr's listed records include Epperstone Park in 1913, Sherwood Forest in 1914, Cuckney Hay Wood (apparently undated) and Nether Langwith in 1914.
 
Recent additions to the county list

Carr's 1916 book 'The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire', left us with a county list containing 27 species and as an example of just how poor our recording of this Order has been in the last hundred years, just six species have since been added to the Nottinghamshire list.

Now standing at a total of 33, the following species have been recorded since the publication of Carr's book. These include Chrysopa commata, Chrysoperla lucasina, Chrysotropia ciliata, Dichochrysa flavifrons, Coniopteryx borealis and Micromus variegatus.

Rothamsted Insect Traps operated for a number of years from Sherwood Forest Country Park and Sutton Bonnington, provided Nottinghamshire with Chrysopa commata, Dichochrysa flavifrons and Coniopteryx borealis new to the county.

 
.......
The county's other three additions, have been records from individual recorders, occurring largely through casual observations. Chrysotropia ciliata (Skidmore, P. per Biolgical Records Centre) was recorded from Whin Covert, in north Nottinghamshire in 1973, Micromus variegatus (Lazenby, A.S. per Biolgical Records Centre) from Ollerton Corner (the grid reference would suggest Sherwood Heath) in 1989 and Chrysoperla lucasina (Heeney, W.) recorded from Halloughton Dumble near Southwell in 2014.
 
A checklist of Nottinghamshire Lacewings (Neuroptera)
 
CHRYSOPIDAE
CHRYSOPA Leach in Brewster, 1815
Chrysopa commata Kis & Ujhelyi, 1965
Chrysopa pallens (Rambur, 1838)
Chrysopa perla (Linnaeus, 1758)
Chrysopa phyllochroma Wesmael, 1841
.......
CHRYSOPERLA Steinmann, 1964
Chrysoperla carnea group
Chrysoperla lucasina (Lacroix, 1912)
.......
CHRYSOTROPIA Navas, 1911
Chrysotropia ciliata (Wesmael, 1841)
.......
CUNCTOCHRYSA Hölzel, 1970
Cunctochrysa albolineata (Killington, 1905)
.......
DICHOCHRYSA Yang, 1991
Dichochrysa flavifrons (Brauer, 1850)
Dichochrysa prasina (Burmeister, 1839)
Dichochrysa ventralis (Curtis, 1834)
.......
NINETA Navás, 1912
Nineta flava (Scopoli, 1763)
Nineta vittata (Wesmael, 1841)
.......
NOTHOCHRYSA McLachlan, 1868
Nothochrysa capitata (Fabricius, 1793)
 
CONIOPTERYGIDAE
CONIOPTERYX Curtis, 1834
Coniopteryx borealis Tjeder, 1930
Coniopteryx tineiformis Curtis, 1834
.......
CONWENTZIA Enderlein, 1905
Conwentzia psociformis (Curtis, 1834)
.......
SEMIDALIS Enderlein, 1905
Semidalis aleyrodiformis (Stephens, 1836)
 
HEMEROBIIDAE
HEMEROBIUS Linnaeus, 1758
Hemerobius atrifrons McLachlan, 1868
Hemerobius humulinus (Linnaeus, 1761)
Hemerobius lutescens (Fabricius, 1793)
Hemerobius micans Olivier, 1792
Hemerobius simulans Walker, 1853
Hemerobius stigma Stephens, 1836
.......
MICROMUS Rambur, 1842
Micromus angulatus (Stephens, 1836)
Micromus paganus (Linnaeus, 1767)
Micromus variegatus (Fabricius, 1793)
.......
SYMPHEROBIUS Banks, 1904
Sympherobius elegans (Stephens, 1836)
.......
WESMAELIUS Krüger, 1922
Wesmaelius concinnus (Stephens, 1836)
Wesmaelius nervosus (Fabricius, 1793)
Wesmaelius quadrifasciatus (Reuter, 1894)
Wesmaelius subnebulosus (Stephens, 1836)
 
SISYRIDAE
SISYRA Burmeister, 1839
Sisyra fuscata (Fabricius, 1777)
 
Why record Lacewings?

There is so much still to be learned about the true distribution and accurate number of species within the county, for anyone wishing to take on the challenge of a more specialist invertebrate Order such as Neuroptera. So much of the county's recorder emphasis is continuously placed on Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Odonata, that those 'lesser orders' get increasingly left out of the biodiversity equasion when sites are surveyed for their invertebrate value.

Actually how little we know of what is found at most of our reserves is astounding, and the modern naturalist has a role to play in considerably increasing awareness of the rare species found on Nottinghamshire's reserves and green spaces belongng to those less-studied Orders. Anyone wishing to take on the challenge of adding to our knowledge of Nottinghamshire Neuroptera, would be making considerable advances in our knowledge of their status and distribution. Its important work waiting for someone.

 
Insects
Homepage
Contents