Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms

The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) project is working to improve the conservation fortunes of some of the Cairngorms National Park’s rarest species.

Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms logos


Through this project we are trying to learn more about six invertebrate species and their distribution across the Cairngorms National Park
The six species are: silver stiletto fly, Kentish glory moth, pine hoverfly, shining guest ant, dark bordered beauty moth and small scabious mining bee. These are six of the UK’s rarest insect species and the Cairngorms National Park is an important stronghold for all of them.
We hope to improve their conservation fortunes by recruiting local volunteers to help survey for them, as well as working with landowners to ensure important habitat is protected for these species.


  • Find new sites for the six invertebrate species
  • Develop a community of volunteers who monitor the six species populations
  • Work with landowners and land managers to manage land enabling these species to thrive.
  • Learn more about the behaviour and habitat needs of each species


Key Dates

  • July to October: discovered 21 pine hoverfly larvae - the most endangered of the six species
  • August: found the first recorded nesting site of small scabious mining bee in the Cairngorms
  • Located three additional new sites for small scabious mining bee
  • New site discovered for shining guest ant by volunteer 

Planned Work

There will be volunteer training days running for each of the species over spring and summer of 2018. Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter pages to find out about opportunities


So far, the project has been very successful in finding new sites for some species and rediscovering others at sites they used to live in. We have also been mapping suitable habitat with volunteers to plan for surveying next year and to understand the potential spread of these key invertebrates in the national park.


This project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER 2014-2020 programme.


Coast on a stormy day

Gabrielle Flinn


Further reading

Find us on Facebook and Twitter or read our blogs.

Press release.
Tagged with: Country: Scotland Project status: Ongoing Project types: Site protection