A colony of the webspinner Aposthonia Ceylonica has been found in Surrey. It was discovered in a glass house and it measures at about 1cm long. The webspinners live in a tunnel made from silk webbing. It feeds on plant material and fungal and algal growth.
Andrew Salisbury, RHS principal Entomologist said “Finding them is absolutely amazing. It is the first new insect order discovered in the UK since stick insects were found in Devon in 1909. The confirmation of a new grouping of insects in Britain is evidence of the role that globalisation is and will continue to play on what is found in our gardens. They need to be identified from the males, which do not occur very often.”
The Aposthonia Ceylonica is generally found in Thailand, it has been assumed that it was brought to the UK via the plant trade. The finding of the insect was reported to the authorities who confirmed it was not a pest.