Nature Champions: Northern February Red Stonefly

Craig Macadam
Craig Macadam

An endemic freshwater species, found in Scotland and nowhere else in the world. It mainly occurs in northern Scotland, particularly the north-east and the Highlands. The adults can be seen emerging on riverbanks in sunshine, from February to April. They are often encountered as the bask in the sun on fenceposts alongside the river. The males have short-wings making them poor at flying.  However, females are much better at flying and can move back upstream to find a mate. Nymphs require clean, fresh-flowing water.

Action Needed

  • Ensure that policy and legislation relating to rivers, water supply and planning takes account of species such as the Northern February red
  • Promote the international importance of this species
  • Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented


Poor water quality, channel engineering such as dredging, channel modification or gravel removal, shading of river banks by conifer plantations, low flows due to run-of-river hydro electric schemes.

MSP Nature Champion

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