On 17 September 2015 I photographed a leafhopper on alder (Alnus glutinosa) next to the small pond near the Botanic Cottage site. The leafhopper had a very distinctive pattern of markings that allowed me to provisionally identify it as Eupterycyba jucunda from photographs on the British Bugs Gallery (http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/homoptera/Cicadellidae/Eupterycyba_jucunda.html). However the species account on that website says that it only occurs in England and Wales, as far as Lancashire.
I therefore sent my photographs to Dr A.J.A. Stewart of Sussex University, who is an expert on leafhoppers. On 3 October he confirmed my sighting as Eupterycyba jucunda and believed it to be the first Scottish record of this species.
Eupterycyba jucunda has only one known food plant, the alder tree. According to the National Biodiversity Network distribution map (https://data.nbn.org.uk/Taxa/NHMSYS0020705560/Grid_Map), its northernmost records in the UK are in South-west Yorkshire (Sheffield and Worksop areas) and South Lancashire (near Liverpool), so from those parts of England to Edinburgh is quite a hop! It should be looked out for elsewhere in the Edinburgh area and indeed in other parts of Scotland. The species appears to be expanding its range in northern Europe as it was first recorded from Norway in 1994 (Olsen 1999), Finland in 2002 (Albrecht et al. 2003) and Ireland in 2007 (Helden 2009). Numerous other European leafhoppers are also expanding their ranges northwards, perhaps in response to climate change.
Albrecht, A., Söderman, G., Rinne, V., Mattila, K., Mannerkoski, I., Karjalainen, S. & Ahlroth, P. 2003. New and interesting finds of Hemiptera in Finland. Sahlbergia 8: 64- 78.
Helden A. 2009. Two species of leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) new to Ireland, with confirmation of their breeding status. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 30 (1): 63.
Olsen, T.J. 1999. New records of Psylloidea and Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera) from Norway. Norwegian Journal of EntomoIogy 46: 110.