A RARE insect not seen in Suffolk for more than a century has been found by two young children.
The large alder sawfly was caught by Odin and Jasmine Thomas, aged five and six, while bug hunting at Suffolk Wildlife Trusts’ Lackford Lakes May Festival and has just been identified with the help of Martin Sanford at Suffolk Biological Records Office and Castle Museum in Norwich.
The Icklingham youngsters’ find is the first time the insect has been recorded in Suffolk since one was found in Freston Wood in 1904. It was not seen again in Britain until 1997, near Salisbury, though it has also recently turned up near Great Yarmouth.
The 2cm long large alder sawfly (Cimbex conatus) which has a 5cm a wingspan, superficially resembles a hornet but its drumstick-shaped antennae are distinctive and it lacks the hornet’s narrow waist and fearsome sting.
It is associated with alder trees and alder carr (wet woodland) which are both found at Lackford Lakes.