Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Skye - Warming Up :)

The weather has taken it's own sweet time, but it finally seems to be properly warming up. Spring has arrived.

Having said that, I've hardly been out and about to make the most of it, work and an annoying leg injury have been getting in the way, though the leg has thankfully pretty much sorted itself out again now. Yesterday I spent several hours wandering the woods and even made use of my butterfly net for the second time this year!

Five minutes at a sunlit tree trunk was profitable, I skored my second species of odonata for the square. Not second for the year, second species ever! Still to see the other one in 2018.

Large Red Damselfly - woo-hoo!!!!
I've been making some headway with hoverflies too

Cheilosia illustrata
Eristalis arbustorum
Rhingia campestris - "does my nose look big in this?"
 Portevenia maculata - absolutely miles away from Ramsons à la Ali style (well, maybe 12" away...)
Pedicia rivosa - a smart cranefly that I found in the light trap one morning
But it's not all about flies. Found a log covered in this highly impressive species

Dryad's Saddle - about ten of them on a rotten log. This was the largest specimen.
Aceria macrorhyncha - Sycamore Nail Galls, first I've seen up here despite there being masses of Sycamores on site
I've suddenly accrued a bit of a backlog - forty pots' worth, in fact! Mostly flies, bibionids and hovers forming a fair proportion of them. Good news is that there's no midges as yet. Doubtless I've just jinxed myself by saying that. 

I've hatched a mad plan to hit 750 by end of May. I'm on 677 at the moment, so "just" 73 to go over the next eight days. Ha, not a chance but it'll be interesting to see how far I get. It took me until mid-June to hit 700 last year, so I'm slightly ahead of that. But, as feared, I'm starting to spend more and more time out of my square. I did claw back Red Grouse for my Skye List this afternoon (previously only seen locally on Raasay), sadly it was up a mountain miles away from Uig. 

500 up at Thorne

Ok only a week or six after the rest of you. However very pleased to have recorded 500 species well before the end of May as last year I was only on 488 at the end of June.

Like the rest of you at the 500 mark, I will give a breakdown by groups as follows;
Plants 186, Bryrophytes 17, Fungi 22, Lichen 28, Annelids 5, Crustacea 5, Spiders 8, Molluscs 19, Odonata 5, Orthoptera 2, Hemiptera 7, Butterflies 11, Moths 51, Coleoptera 14, Hymenoptera 25, Diptera 33, Insects (RSO) 3, Fish 1, Amphibians 2, Birds 50 and Mammals 8. Which gives 502 in total.

Photo wise a shot of a very unexpected record of Green Hairstreak at Thorne a week or so ago.
Unexpected on 2 counts. Having recorded the Butterflies there in 2 previous years with no sign of Green Hairstreak anywhere in the local area for 1 to just appear was a surprise and even more surprising, what was it doing in a garden sat quietly on some Cat-mint?!

Black and blue

Been away a bit recently, but a reasonable moth night on May 21st raises hopes that things on that front may start improving soon. A bit of colour in the garden this afternoon.

Wasp Beetle in garden

Azure Damselfly in garden
911 Rhopalus subrufus Hemipteroids Rhopalid Bug 21/05/2018
912 Setisquamalonchaea fumosa Diptera Lonchaeidae 21/05/2018
913 Necrodes littoralis Coleoptera Shore Sexton Beetle 21/05/2018
914 Colostygia pectinataria Lepidoptera:moths Green Carpet 21/05/2018
915 Opisthograptis luteolata Lepidoptera:moths Brimstone Moth 21/05/2018
916 Apamea sordens Lepidoptera:moths Rustic Shoulder-knot 21/05/2018
917 Agrotis exclamationis Lepidoptera:moths Heart and Dart 21/05/2018
918 Xestia c-nigrum Lepidoptera:moths Setaceous Hebrew Character 21/05/2018
919 Ochropleura plecta Lepidoptera:moths Flame Shoulder 21/05/2018
920 Mythimna flammea Lepidoptera:moths Flame Wainscot 21/05/2018
921 Phalera bucephala Lepidoptera:moths Buff-tip 21/05/2018
922 Plutella xylostella Lepidoptera:moths Diamond-backed Moth 21/05/2018
923 Eupithecia assimilata Lepidoptera:moths Currant Pug 21/05/2018
924 Apamea crenata Lepidoptera:moths Clouded-bordered Brindle 21/05/2018
925 Acasis viretata Lepidoptera:moths Yellow-barred Brindle 22/05/2018
926 Clytus arietis Coleoptera Wasp Beetle 23/05/2018
927 Coenagrion puella Odonata Azure Damselfly 23/05/2018

Dalgety Bay - What's up doc?

Easterly winds forced me to seek the shelter of a woodland clearing yesterday and thank goodness they did! There's a small area where the local countryside trust (dog toilet maintenance dept.) have removed a Rhodedendron bush and a couple of dead trees and left a sunny open space covered with woodchip. It is a dipteran paradise! Shame they removed the logs, but whatever. I could have spent many happy hours in there but sadly only got a lunchtime this time around. However, it was plenty time to bag a few goodies and spend some quality time watching fly interactions through close focus binoculars.

Probably my favourite of the day was the extraordinary dolichopodid Rhaphium monotrichum. As an aside I came across a great Russian site for Dolis here

In other news yesterday photos of a wasp which I had reared from a spider were passed on to a wasp expert who returned an ID within minutes (if not seconds). Fantastic. The specimen will go to live in NMS where the ID will be 100% confirmed.

Now I just need to take a week off and we can wrap this thing up in May ;)

The Clearing of Wonder

Meeeeeh, what's up doc? Rhaphium

Polysphincta tuberosa - spider killing waspiness

811 flowering plant Vicia hirsuta Hairy Tare
812 lep-butterfly Lycaena phlaeas Small Copper
813 hemiptera Philaenus spumarius Cuckoo-Spit Insect
814 diptera Limonia phragmitidis Tipuloidea
815 diptera Graphomya maculata A muscid fly
816 * hymenoptera Polysphincta tuberosa A wasp
817 diptera Calliphora vomitoria Calliphoridae
818 * flowering plant Carex canescens White Sedge
819 spider Microlinyphia pusilla A Linyphiid spider
820 lep-moth Epiblema cirsiana A micro moth
821 * diptera Raphium monotrichum A long-legged fly
822 diptera Dolichopus popularis A long-legged fly
823 * hemiptera Macustus grisescens A leaf hopper
824 * hymenoptera Cynips quercusfolii A gall wasp
825 gall mite Aceria cephaloneus A gall mite

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dalgety Bay - a lot less bovver

Amazingly yesterday I found my fourth new hover fly of the month, and a new one for the county in Orthonevra brevicornis. It's one of a number of "wetland" species that have shown up and give me hope for lots of other related goodies through the season.

The click beetle Athous haemorrhoidalis was hanging off seemingly every bush and the third sarcophagid of the year was snagged. Finally a nice Gymnocheta was spotted on a sunny leaf, though my photo left a lot to be desired (too much to show!).

This morning Common Terns finally showed up in the bay and a surprise Small Copper turned up in the sweep net.

Small Copper

Orthonevra brevicornis

Athous haemorrhoidalis

The already-recorded Bibio leucopterus

802 coleoptera Athous haemorrhoidalis A Click Beetle
803 * diptera Euleia heracleii A picture-winged fly
804 lep-moth Elachista argentella Swan-feather Dwarf
805 * diptera Psila merdaria A fly
806 diptera Gymnocheta viridis A tachinid fly
807 diptera Sarcophaga carnaria Sarcophagidae
808 diptera Muscina levida A muscid fly
809 * diptera Orthonevra brevicornis A hover fly
810 bird Sterna hirundo Common Tern
811 flowering plant Vicia hirsuta Hairy Tare
812 lep-butterfly Lycaena phlaeas Small Copper
813 hemiptera Philaenus spumarius Cuckoo-Spit Insect

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dog day afternoon

Pleased to get Cynomya mortuorum in the garden this afternoon, haven't seen many round here and this is the first for the garden. The longhorn beetle Tetrops praeustus is fairly common in Norfolk, but I don't think you get it in Scotland? A few other bits included Royal Fern along one of my brackish dykes. It's fairly common in the sand dunes and willows along the coastal strip, but I wasn't really expecting it in the square. A Reed Warbler was in the garden this morning.

Dog fly of the dead

Tetrops praeustus
894 Eupeodes latifasciatus Diptera Syrphidae 18/05/2018
895 Salticus scenicus Arachnids Salticidae 18/05/2018
896 Evergestis forficalis Lepidoptera:moths Garden Pebble 19/05/2018
897 Lacanobia thalassina Lepidoptera:moths Pale-shouldered Brocade 19/05/2018
898 * Fannia similis Diptera Fanniidae 20/05/2018
899 Dolichopus plumipes Diptera Dolichopodidae 20/05/2018
900 Festuca arundinacea Vascular Plants Tall Fescue 20/05/2018
901 Tachycixius pilosus Hemipteroids Lacehopper 20/05/2018
902 Dilophus femoratus Diptera Bibionidae 20/05/2018
903 Osmunda regalis Vascular Plants Royal Fern 21/05/2018
904 Acrocephalus scirpaceus Birds Reed Warbler 21/05/2018
905 Leptophyes punctatissima Orthopteroids Speckled Bush-cricket 21/05/2018
906 Ectemnius continuus Hymenoptera Crabronidae 21/05/2018
907 Amara plebeja Coleoptera Carabidae 21/05/2018
908 Tropidia scita Diptera Syrphidae 21/05/2018
909 Tetrops praeustus Coleoptera Plum Longhorn Beetle 21/05/2018
910 Cynomya mortuorum Diptera Calliphoridae 21/05/2018

Dalgety Bay - 800 up

Another sunny weekend of barbecue and beer didn't get in the way of some very productive solo walks and so 10 days early here we are over the 800 line. If it goes like this the end of May could see 850 which would be a "beyond wildest dreams" scenario. This small area is just uber-productive and the moth trap has finally managed to score up some notches of its own.

Best of the weekend isn't featured here, but is the county first and county third (NBN, usual caveats apply) Limnophora olympiae, which I'll post a link to here when it's up on my fly blog

Tipula oleracea emerged in abundance

Trichosirocalus troglodytes on Ribwort Plantain

Ubiquitous in England and Wales they say

Garden first Pebble Prominent

Adela reamurella, apparently new to me, which is a surprise
771 diptera Phaonia populi A muscid fly
772 diptera Tephritis hyoscyami Tephritidae
773 fungus Calocybe gambosa St.George's Mushroom
774 * spider Tetrix denticulata A spider
775 coleoptera Trichosirocalus troglodytes A weevil
776 diptera Cynomya mortuorum A blow fly
777 diptera Tipula oleracea Tipuloidea
778 diptera Xylota segnis Syrphidae
779 flowering plant Festuca ovina Sheep's Fescue
780 flowering plant Lotus corniculatus Common Bird's-foot-trefoil
781 flowering plant Ornithogalum angustifolium Star-of-Bethlehem
782 flowering plant Rosa rugosa Japanese Rose
783 flowering plant Salix caprea Goat Willow
784 flowering plant Atriplex prostrata Spear-leaved Orache
785 lep-moth Aphomia sociella Bee Moth
786 lep-moth Epermenia chaerophyllella A micro moth
787 lep-moth Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth
788 lep-moth Hadena bicruris Lychnis
789 lep-moth Lomographa temerata Clouded Silver
790 lep-moth Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent
791 lep-moth Perizoma affinitata Rivulet
792 * diptera Limnophila olympiae A muscid fly
793 diptera Phaonia palpata A muscid fly
794 * flowering plant Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail
795 flowering plant Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass
796 flowering plant Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling
797 flowering plant Luzula major Great Wood-rush
798 flowering plant Meconopsis cambrica Welsh Poppy
799 * lep-moth Adela reamurella A micro moth
800 flowering plant Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb
801 flowering plant Tanacetum vulgare Tansy

Friday, May 18, 2018

A few new Symphyta

Three new Symphyta in the last few days, so they're beginning to get going. The battle between beetles and flies seems to be heading the way of diptera, with totals of 173 diptera and 167 coleoptera so far this year. Not many birds or moths recently, but for those who like their Odonata, this was a nice new species for the garden this morning.

Hairy Dragonfly (female)

859 * Dolerus haematodes Hymenoptera Symphyta: Selandriinae: Dolerus 06/05/2018
860 Pyrochroa serraticornis Coleoptera Red-headed Cardinal Beetle 15/05/2018
861 Apion frumentarium Coleoptera Apionidae 15/05/2018
862 Eutrichapion viciae Coleoptera Apionidae 15/05/2018
863 Harpocera thoracica Hemipteroids Miridae 15/05/2018
864 Siphona geniculata Diptera Tachinidae 15/05/2018
865 Adalia decempunctata Coleoptera 10-spot Ladybird 15/05/2018
866 * Rhamphomyia micropyga Diptera Empididae 15/05/2018
867 Cheilosia lasiopa Diptera Syrphidae 15/05/2018
868 Hilara maura Diptera Empidoidea 16/05/2018
869 Cantharis pellucida Coleoptera Cantharidae 16/05/2018
870 Fannia lustrator Diptera Fanniidae 16/05/2018
871 Stenus flavipes Coleoptera Staph. 15/05/2018
872 Rhagonycha limbata Coleoptera Cantharidae 17/05/2018
873 Philonthus cognatus Coleoptera Staph. 17/05/2018
874 Epirrhoe alternata Lepidoptera:moths Common Carpet 17/05/2018
875 Parhelophilus frutetorum Diptera Eristalini 17/05/2018
876 Eurithia anthophila Diptera Tachinidae 17/05/2018
877 * Coenosia lacteipennis Diptera Muscidae 17/05/2018
878 Eumea linearicornis Diptera Tachinidae 17/05/2018
879 Hydrotaea dentipes Diptera Muscidae 17/05/2018
880 * Fannia rondanii Diptera Fanniidae 17/05/2018
881 Rumex acetosella Vascular Plants Sheep's Sorrel 18/05/2018
882 Agrostis stolonifera Vascular Plants Creeping Bent 18/05/2018
883 Aquilegia vulgaris Vascular Plants Columbine 18/05/2018
884 Bromus hordeaceus Vascular Plants Soft-brome 18/05/2018
885 Bromus sterilis Vascular Plants Barren Brome 18/05/2018
886 * Tenthredo temula Hymenoptera Symphyta 18/05/2018
887 Cassida rubiginosa Coleoptera Thistle Tortoise Beetle 18/05/2018
888 Hercostomus cupreus Diptera Dolichopodidae 18/05/2018
889 Panorpa germanica RSO Scorpion Fly 18/05/2018
890 * Pamphilius sylvaticus Hymenoptera Symphyta 18/05/2018
891 Enallagma cyathigerum Odonata Common Blue Damselfly 18/05/2018
892 Cornus sanguinea Vascular Plants Dogwood 18/05/2018
893 Carpinus betulus Vascular Plants Hornbeam 18/05/2018

Dalgety Bay - Sarc-asm

So maybe someone will remember this lovely duo - a Pipunculid and an intriguing small calypterate taken not only on the same day but in the same sweep. I had reservations about the initial tachinid determination of the calypterate and when I whipped out its bits I was pretty convinced it was a sarcophagid. Turns out to be true, and what a tiny sarcophagid it is! I'm used to them being enormous - usually the biggest flies in any batch and longer easily than both these placed end to end. Maybe I can post a side-by-side later.

Anyway, finally I cleared the decks enough yesterday to determine that it's Pierretia nigriventris, which I thought was new for county until I checked NBN this morning. It wasn't in the Nature of Fife 2006 county list though so it's new-ish! It has a curious distribution on NBN, which seems to include about 75% of coastal squares in Wales!

Everything else is more-or-less routine apart from a new hover for me in the shape of Neoascia tenur (which may turn out to be N.meticulosa ... but still new in both cases!)

754 lep-moth Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug
755 lep-moth Odontopera bidentata Scalloped Hazel
756 lep-moth Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth
757 lep-moth Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet
758 diptera Helophilus pendulus A hover fly
759 diptera Sarcophaga subvicina A flesh fly
760 * diptera Neoascia tenur A hover fly
761 diptera Lucilia caesar A blow fly
762 lep-moth Nola confusalis Least Black Arches
763 lep-moth Incurvaria masculella Feathered Diamond-back
764 diptera Delia platura A flower fly
765 diptera Merodon equestris A hover fly
766 flowering plant Calystegia sepium Hedge Bindweed
767 lep-moth Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House-moth
768 diptera Fannia similis A lesser house fly
769 diptera Myathropa florea A flower fly
770 fungus Calocybe gambosa St.George's Mushroom