Monday, January 7, 2013

SP5595ish 06/01/2013

A whole day spent in my square ........

Or to be more precise, a whole day spent in my house in my square mainly wielding a paint roller and brush. Even with this massive constraint, I managed to add a few bits by either looking out of a window at the right moment or poking around in the garden in between coats of paint.

First new thing was a Grey Squirrel usefully sat in the middle of the lawn at first light. Mid-morning, whilst waiting for a kettle to boil, I grabbed my kitchen binoculars (surely every birder has a pair of bins in the kitchen?) and checked through a flyover flock of gulls which included Lesser Black-backed and Herring.

Later in the afternoon, I spent a half hour or so in the garden using a trowel to heap either leaf litter or soil into a tray and poking through it to see if there anything identifiable. There was - lots of springtails, although the only species I managed to see well enough to ID was Tomocerus minor. I also noted a couple of the bristletail Campodea fragilis. Lots of juvenile worms were ignored, and the only beetle I found has currently evaded ID. I also found this thing - any ideas? Looks like a carnivorous bristletail, but is quite likely nothing of the sort.

I also poked around under stones etc and picked up two woodlice, one of which is completely new for me and only stuck out thanks to an earlier posting on this blog (thanks Mark).

Rosy Woodlouse - will look for another and get a better shot

Common Pygmy Woodlouse

So, seven species added. I've also managed a work-around on MapMate be re-assigning the pertinent sites to a different administrative area which then works with the filters before running a query. I have created new admin sites in the past but can't remember how to make them work - maybe something that can't be done in later releases of MapMate?

Moth trap is out tonight ......


  1. Your mystery critter is either a Staphylinid or Carabid beetle larva. There's a good comment here on distinguishing between larvae of the two families:

  2. Mark...if you get the chance..can you please correct any id`s on my blog. I`ve decided to do a garden bio-blitz this year. Cheers mate.

  3. Thanks Rob - makes much more sense being a beetle larva.

    Hello Dean - hadn't realised you were back blogging. Will look up and link the new blog and let you know if there's anything I can help with.

  4. Cheers Mark. Had some time off blogging...but i`m back. As much as i`m enjoying this bio-blitzing...i can see it`s gonna give me a few headaches.

  5. Skev, that's a carabid larva. You can clearly see that the leg has 2 segments between the knee and the tip: the tibia and the tarsus. Many water beetles also have legs like this (the aquatic Adephaga) and can be found on land but near water. Staphs have the 2 segments fused into a tibio-tarsus.

    It is my bitter duty to inform you that Common Pygmy Woodlouse has been split: Trichoniscus pusillus and T. provisorius. Mark Yeates has been sitting on a new MapMate checklist of woodlice that I sent him several months ago. They are difficult to separate but basically one occurs with a c.50:50 sex ratio whereas males of the other species are very rare.

  6. Fear not Skev, other than microscopic features of the first exopod there's one (almost) surefire way of telling the cryptic Trichoniscus duo apart. T.provisorius rarely exceeds 3.5mm when fully grown whereas T.pusillus reaches a huge 5mm when fully grown. Apparently this is a good rule for the vast majority of individuals. Supposedly, but Mark's the expert!

  7. Hmm ..... -1 for the moment then. Thanks Mark!