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The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) project has shared breathtaking new images of empty pine hoverfly pupa cases found during initial follow-up surveys of recent release sites for the critically endangered species.
This finding is a huge step forward for the conservation project, which brings together experts from the RSPB, Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).
It confirms that at least some of the 6,000 larvae released from the RZSS conservation breeding programme over the past six months have survived and emerged as adult pine hoverflies.
No one has seen one of these rare native insects in their adult form in the wild for almost a decade and it is hoped more good news will follow once the surveys to establish the success of the first releases are completed in the coming months.