Today I saw my first insect of 2014 in the Botanics. No ordinary fly or early bee; it was a STONEFLY of the genus Leuctra (needle flies), almost certainly Leuctra fusca, the Late Needle Fly, which as its common name suggests is the latest of the six British stoneflies of that genus to emerge. It was an adult, resting on the bark of a Carpinus (hornbeam) tree between the Chinese Hillside and the Pond, It could have been feeding on the algae and lichens on the bark. Note the long antennae and the wings rolled round the abdomen when at rest. This is the first adult stonefly I’ve recorded in the Botanics – indeed I can’t think I’ve seen one anywhere before! Not only is this a new species for the Garden’s insect list, but it’s the first definitely identified record of the Order Plecoptera for RBGE! The larvae (nymphs) live in ponds and rivers. They are often encountered during pond dipping, but none were recorded during last year’s BioBlitz.