Friday, March 29, 2013

Shotesham - still plugging away

About time I posted again. Been a tricky few weeks, not least because of the continuing lack of spring. It briefly got about five degrees today, and a few bees popped out of the hive, but they didn't stay out long. And the worst thing is that there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. I know us Brits are supposed to moan about the weather, but it is getting increasingly worrying for the state of our wildlife this year. I don't think I've ever had a March without Chiffchaff or Hebrew Character (since I was aware of the existence of such things anyway) but with two days to go it's looking like that might be on the cards.

Anyway, I have kept plugging away and the list has risen to 258. Additions have been as follows:

Clubiona terrestris - a spider found in the moth-trap. I'd rather some moths to be honest, but nice to clinch this one - a female ID on epigyne pattern.

Segestria senoculata - a spider found whilst sorting out our woodpile; quite a distinctive thing.

Intermediate Screw-moss Syntrichia intermedia - on our front patio within sight of this computer...

Springy Turf-moss Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus - searched for, and found, on the lawn following postings of others

Pointed Spear-moss Calliergonella cuspidata - found (and photographed) at the same time as previous species

Schendyla nemorensis - a centipede, bit of a tricky one but looked OK

White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella - found by my son in his bedroom

Barren Strawberry Potentilla sterilis - in flower! What's it thinking of?!

Nipplewort Lapsana communis - leaves only

Great Willowherb Epilobium hirsutum - leaves only

Marsh Tit Poecile palustris - this bird has been holding territory just outside the square boundary for a while. I may have encouraged it to cross the line slightly. Annoyingly, a Brambling sat near it did not follow suit and remained stubbonly outside the square.

Empoasca vitis - tiny green leafhoppers beaten from Yew. I happened to have bought a key to the subfamily Typhlocybinae of the family Cicadellidae several years ago, a bit by mistake to be honest, and I've never found an opportunity to use it until today. Surprisingly easy really (although the 45 x microscope helped a tad...)

Eristalis tenax - dronefly on the wing, albeit sluggishly, today. Most hopeful sign of spring so far.

Allajulus nitidus - a slightly less common millipede but I think it looks OK.

Polydesmus angustus - a mating pair - male ID on gonopod shape.

Silpha atrata - beetle found under a log today

Phytoptus avellanae - thanks to Seth's tip, found some larger hazel buds and the teeny weeny mites inside - thanks Seth.

Large White Pieris brassicae - an unusual first butterfly of the year, but I finally got round to looking carefully at a pupa on the wall of the house.

Springy Turf-moss and Pointed Spear-moss on the lawn

Intermediate Screw-moss. (I hate mosses.)

Barren Strawberry


  1. Allajulus nitidus is a good find, and one up on me. I hope you're right but the tail-tip characters of iulid millipedes (upturned vs. straight/downcurved with or without a downcurved hook) are not always straightforward, especially on immatures. And can be damaged. So worth keeping a specimen.

  2. Thanks Mark. Yes, these tail-tip characters seem pretty critical in the key but I have struggled with them, and certainly had Tachy.niger with a broken tail tip so far. The jump from my 30x scope to my current (borrowed) 45x with brighter lights has helped enormously and this does look definitively straight on this one. But I think you're right that I should be cautious and I'll hang on to it for comparison with other beasties in future. Might even be able to get a photo.