Common Darter. Photo:

Common Darter. Photo:


Holywells Park has an impressive array of insects, helped of course by the large ponds and areas of water. The Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service records 358 insect species which we have categorised at the end of this page.

Stag Beetles

Some of the insects of Holywells Park are quite rare. For example, Stag Beetles (the UK’s largest insect) is nationally rare although Suffolk is something of a stronghold and often people living near Holywells park find them in their gardens. Their larvae eat rotting wood which is plentiful in the park and they can spend 5-7 years feeding on this before emerging.


There are over 2400 species of moths in the UK, most of which fly at night. These are an important source of food for bats. They are also key pollinators for a wide range of plants and trees.


Red admirals, Commas, Small tortoiseshells and Peacocks feed on nettles and flowers but also on rotten fruit – the alcohol in the fruit acts as natural anti-freeze! The long grass in parts of the park provides a great habitat for Meadow brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled wood, Ringlet and Orange tip.

Male Brimstone in Holywells Park. Photo: Matt Berry

Male Brimstone in Holywells Park. Photo: Matt Berry

The Insects of Holywells Park

  • Dragonfly – 19 Species
  • Moths – 147
  • Butterflies – 29
  • Beetles (Coleoptera) – 27
  • Orthoptera (like grasshoppers, Crickets) – 8 Species
  • Earwig (Dermaptera) – 1
  • True bug (Hemiptera) – 32
  • Alderfly (Megaloptera) – 1
  • Lacewing (Neuroptera) – 2
  • Scorpion fly (Mecoptera) – 1
  • True Fly (Diptera) – 42
  • Hymenopteran (like wasps, bees ants) – 53

You can see a full list of Holywells Park insects here