Tipula vittata Meigen, 1804 and the subgenus Acutipula (Diptera, Tipulidae) with reference to Bredon Hill, Worcestershire
Moor Leys, Little Comberton, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 3EH. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are few if any Worcestershire records of the paludal cranefly Tipula vittata Meigen, 1804 so it is pleasing to record a female (01) in a Little Comberton garden SO94 30 m O.D.) on 1 April 2014, a rather early date in what is an ‘early’ year. The garden is traversed by a canalised Bredon Hill scarp stream with muddy edges which is the larval habitat of T. vittata and in this instance also the striking Tipula maxima Poda, 1761. Tipula vittata is one of four relatively widespread British species of the subgenus Acutipula; the distinctively vittate wing markings can be seen in 02.
01. shows freshly emerged female Tipula vittata Meigen, 1804, Little Comberton, Worcestershire, 1 April 2014. © P.F. Whitehead
02. shows wing of female Tipula vittata Meigen, 1804, Little Comberton, Worcestershire, 1 April 2014, showing the distinctive vittate wing pattern. © P.F. Whitehead.
Three species of Acutipula are associated with the surface drainage of Bredon Hill namely Tipula luna Westhoff, 1879, T. maxima and T. vittata. Earlier Bredon Hill records of T. luna and T. vittata include those from a Malaise Trap set by the then English Nature in woodlands above Elmley Castle (SO93 100m O.D.) during the spring of 1997. The single specimens of each were identified by the late Dr Peter Skidmore together with a single Tipula (Beringotipula) unca Wiedemann, 1817. Both T. luna and T. unca are now known to occur at a number of other sites on Bredon Hill, especially where surface drainage passes through ancient woodlands.
The radial drainage of Bredon Hill is highly significant for its invertebrate fauna both in both regional and national contexts.
01. Freshly emerged female Tipula vittata.
02. Freshly emerged female Tipula vittata showing wing pattern