These remarkable creatures are among the rarest and most threatened invertebrates in the UK. They are 2cm long and chunky, black or brown with striking yellow wing-bases.
They are 2cm long and chunky, black or brown with striking yellow wing-bases. They can’t fly, but can walk up to 100m a day. Their wing markings resemble intricate wrought-iron work, and the males make a loud call to attract a mate using “harps”, modified veins on their wing. In the 1980s, there was just one group of fewer than 100 individuals left in West Sussex. Despite successful heathland restoration and reintroduction projects, the current six populations are still very isolated and vulnerable.