The decline of insects has been a popular point of discussion in recent years, and is widely accepted to be the result of numerous factors, including widespread pesticide use, light pollution and urbanisation, to name a few examples. Has climate change, however, been overlooked? With a focus on flies, Roger Morris and Stuart Ball look at how extreme weather events, such as heatwaves and storms, have played a part in reduced insect activity in the UK.
Many older observers of the natural world reflect that insects were much commoner in their youth. Forty years ago, country lanes were often blessed with an abundance of moths by night – ‘snowstorms’ in the car headlights – and a multitude of flies and bees by day