Metrioptera brachyptera

Range & Status

Nationally restricted to wet and dry heathland, but locally often numerous in this habitat.

Regional Distribution

Currently known from only a handful of sites; Newlyn Downs, Trewaters Farm, two sites at Rosenannon, and one at nearby Retallack. The colony at Rosenannon Downs is extensive, and is the largest in Cornwall. In 2004 a small population was found at the Chyverton CWT nature reserve, the most westerly UK site. Despite searching with a bat detector in 2007, the old colonies at Goss and Tregoss moor could not be refound. Tregoss moor, in particular, is now heavily overgrown, with access to the damper areas very difficult.

Habitat & Ecology

Occurs on lowland heath, requiring damper areas for egg laying, although adults move to warmer, drier area to bask and mature. Surprisingly, never recorded from The Lizard. An important indicator species for heathland.


Fires, extension of tip sites and deterioration through lack of management.


By effective heathland management.