Sawfly species Nematus pseudodispar discovered in the UK for the first time
A tiny insect species has been discovered in the UK for the first time.
The sawfly, which specialises in living on birch trees, is extremely rare within Europe, previously being known to live only in Latvia and Finland.
However, an entomologist has found a single specimen of the species Nematus pseudodispar living in a woodland estate in Scotland.
The sawfly's discovery was announced at a biodiversity conference today.
The specimen was collected on 20 August this year by biodiversity surveyor Guy Knight, an entomologist at the National Museums in Liverpool.
He discovered the sawfly on the Dundreggan Estate in Glen Moriston, which lies to the west of Loch Ness in Inverness-shire.
The estate, which holds birch and juniper woodland, is managed by the conservation charity Trees for Life.
A second opinion was sought from an expert in Germany before the sawfly's identity was confirmed, and announced at the Highlands International Biodiversity and Climate Change conference, part of the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity, being held at the Highland Council Chambers in Inverness.
The fly species is considered to be a specialist depending on northern European birchwood.
Previously at the same site, scientists have discovered a mining bee thought to have been extinct in Scotland since 1949 and the golden horsefly, which had only been sighted twice in Scotland since 1923 until it was spotted on Dundreggan in 2008.