A wide range of invertebrates can be found on Lundy. Over the years around 1500 species have been recorded in Annual Reports by casual and specialist surveyors. Many Groups are represented, Spiders, Woodlice, Myriapods, Damselflies and Dragonflies, Grasshoppers and Crickets, True Bugs, Beetles, Flies, and Bees Wasps and Ants.

An exhaustive list is not attempted here but the more common and visible species are described and, where possible, illustrated. Click on any image to view a larger version.

Cellar Spider © Alan Rowland

Spiders (Arachnida)

Two spiders are, if not common, easily found. The Cave Spider can be searched for in Benson’s Cave or the Cave along the Landing Beach.

The Cellar Spider is easily confused with Daddy Long-legs. As a spider it has 8 not 6 long spindly legs. It can be found in the upper corners of most properties and should be cherished as it not only eats flies, but also other spiders.

Woodlice (Isopoda)

The Common Shiny Woodlouse Oniscus asellus is found all over the island, but a rather more interesting yet easily found species is the Ant Woodlouse Playarthus hoffmannseggi. Whilst looking for ants under stones, you might chance upon this tiny white wood louse. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a juvenile, it is fully grown at 4 mm and pure white.


Myriapods - Millipedes, Centipedes (Diplopoda and Chilopoda)

Banded Centipede © Alan RowlandPill Millipede © Alan RowlandThere is one centipede that can usually be seen indoors and under stones, but it is very fast moving. The Banded Centipede Lithobius variegatus is extremely common and quite large.  Its distinctive banded purple legs easily identify it.

The Pill Millipede Glomeris marginata (not to be confused with the Pill Woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare – check the number of legs) is very common on the Lower East Side Path to the north of Halfway Wall. It has 2 pairs of legs per segment, rolls into a almost perfect sphere and, on Lundy, shows yellow edges to each segment.

Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata)

Out of 57 UK species, 15 have been reported from Lundy (see article in 2015 Annual Report). Of these there are four that can reliably be seen.  Blue-tailed Ischnura elegans and Common Blue Enallagma cyathigerum Damselfies, Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum are all reported annually and can be seen around the many freshwater bodies and well away from them too. The two “blues” can be distinguished by the colour of their abdomen.  The Blue-tailed has a blue tail – i.e. black abdomen with segment 8 blue, whereas the abdomen of the Common Blue is alternately black and blue.

Blue-tailed Damselfly © Alan Rowland Common Blue Damselfly © Alan Rowland Common Darter © Alan Rowland

The Migrant Hawker is a medium sized dragonfly predominantly blue but the identifying feature is the yellow triangle where thorax and abdomen meet.

The Common Darter is a small restless dragonfly with a orange-red or brown abdomen is not uncommon and can be seen most years

A fifth species, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata is rarely seen, but in 1963 there was a mass eruption with thousands appearing all over the island.

Common Field Grasshopper © Alan Rowland

Grasshoppers and Crickets (Orthoptera)

One of each species is common on the island. The Common Field Grasshopper Chorlhippus brunneus is reported in most years and increasingly the Speckled Bush Cricket Leptophyes punctatissima.





Gorse Shieldbug © Alan Rowland

True Bugs (Hemiptera)

Shield Bugs are increasingly being seen and reported with the most common being the Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus. These are easily identified with their bright yellow underside and habit of sunbathing amongst the gorse bushes that line the top of Millcombe Valley.

Beetles (Coleoptera)

Since the eradication of rats in 2006, the most common beetles that can be seen are the dung beetles. Two species can easily be found on the sheltered eastern sidelands particularly the Dor Beetle Geotrupes stercorius. Slow and black it reveals a starting violet underside when turned over. The closely-related Minotaur Typheus typheus is easily distinguished by its three horns projecting from its head. 

Another easily identifiable beetle is the Devil’s Coach-horse Ocypus olens. This is another large black beetle which will identify itself by its habit, when feeling threatened, of raising its abdomen and curling it forwards over its head.

Dor Beetle © Alan Rowland Minotaur Beetle © Alan Rowland Devil's Coach-horse © Alan Rowland

Cockchafers do not feature on Lundy but their relative, the big glossy green Rosechafer Cetonia aurata flies in day-light and often into people.

The Green Tiger Beetle Cincindela campestris is a large predatory beetle common on open ground on the Lower East Side Path and very fast moving. It is easily recognised being bright green with white spots.

Three further beetles may be found. The large bronze Carabid beetle Carabus granulatus generally found amongst rank grass on the plateau; the unmistakeable Imperial Rove Beetle Staphylinus caesareus easily identified by the two rows of 3 yellow spots on its abdomen and the Black Snail Beetle Silpha atrata is reported every year and is distinguished by its black ridged carapace and the pronotum (between head and wing cases) which is very big, about one third the size of the beetle.

Carabus granulatus © Alan Rowland Imperial Rove Beetle © Alan Rowland Black Snail Beetle © Alan Rowland

24-spot Ladybird © Alan Rowland

Moth traps often collect various species of Sexton Beetles Nicrophorus sp. easily identified by their black and orange markings as well as the strong and unpleasant smell they give off.

Finally, diligent searchers with keen eyes should examine Lundy Cabbage for its diminutive (2.8–3.6mm) Bronze Lundy Cabbage Flea Beetle Psylliodes luridipennis.

Another familiar family of beetles is the ladybirds. Their occurrence is very variable being abundant occasionally and scarce frequently. The 7-, 10- and 22-spot Ladybirds have been reported but the tiny (2-4mm) orange-red 24-spot Ladybird Subcoccinella vigintiquatuorpunctata can reliably found by diligently searching, on hands and knees, clumps of Sea Campion.

Flies (Diptera)

Flies in general are poorly recorded, though craneflies and hoverflies are reported regularly.

Common European Cranefly © Alan Rowland Marmalade Hoverfly © Alan Rowland

The most common is the Common European Cranefly or Daddy Longlegs Tipula paludosa. In fact during Discover Lundy 2016 there was a mass emergence of this large cranefly when thousands of them appeared in moth traps, properties and all over the plateau.

Hoverflies are mimics and could be confused with bees or wasps but significantly, as Diptera, they have only two wings. The Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, Bumblebee Hoverfly Volucella bombylans and the Pied Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri all occur on the island.


Bees, Wasps and Ants (Hymenoptera)

White-tailed Bumblebee © Alan Rowland Buff-tailed Bumblebee © Alan RowlandTwo bees are regularly seen and reported – the White-tailed Bumblebee Bombus leucorum and the Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris. The species are easily separated by the distinctive colour of the dorsal tip of the abdomen.

Common Black Ants Lasius niger can be found nesting under stones and will often reveal their companion species the Ant Woodlouse Platyarthrus hoffmannseggii.

Text by Alan Rowland

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