Friday, May 31, 2013

Back to reality

Three weeks in Arizona (34 life birds plus a whole lot more) left the list on 302 from 2-20 May, but over 100 additions since getting back, with warm weather forecast for the weekend. A few surprises such as Small Pondweed, Imperforate St John’s-wort and Crested Hair-grass, all locally scarce with the last in an odd place (dry road verge). Even caught a few moths in the trap last night (but garden year list down at least 50% on the same time last year and hardly any noctuids so far).

303, Nettle-tap, Anthophila fabriciana, 21/05/2013, in the garden
304, Large White, Pieris brassicae, 21/05/2013, emerged from pupa on side of moth trap
305, a hoverfly, Rhingia campestris, 22/05/2013, in the garden
306, a micro moth, Syndemis musculana, 22/05/2013, in the garden
307, Common Swift, Apus apus, 22/05/2013, over the garden
308, Rough Meadow-grass, Poa trivialis, 22/05/2013, in F near allotment
309, Crack Willow, Salix fragilis, 22/05/2013, now in F and leaf so ID easy
310, Grey Willow, Salix cinerea, 22/05/2013, now in F and leaf so ID easy
311, Annual Wall-rocket, Diplotaxis muralis, 22/05/2013, in F and FR by allotment
312, Scarlet Pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis, 22/05/2013, in F waste ground nr allotment
313, Barren Brome, Anisantha sterilis, 22/05/2013, in F, weed in garden
314, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad, Valerianella carinata, 22/05/2013, in F and FR, weed in garden and allotment
315, a mirid bug, Orthops campestris, 22/05/2013, near Alexanders. An obviously green example.
316, Wall Barley, Hordeum murinum, 22/05/2013, by The Green
317, Field Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, 22/05/2013, weed on allotment L
318, Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, 22/05/2013, seedling under parent tree by allotment
319, a grass-bug, Stenodema laevigata, 22/05/2013, checked under microscope - dotted pronotum and no femoral spurs etc
320, Turnip Moth, Agrotis segetum, 23/05/2013, in trap
321, Wood Mouse, 24/05/2013, in garden
322, Poplar Hawk-moth, Laothoe populi, 24/05/2013, in trap
323, Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus britanna, 25/05/2013, in garden
324, Common Winter-cress, Barbarea vulgaris, 25/05/2013, by pill near allotment and elsewhere
325, Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula, 25/05/2013, by pill near allotment
326, Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines britannica, 25/05/2013, in several places near ditches
327, Greater Pond-sedge, Carex riparia, 25/05/2013, by ditch near allotment
328, Germander Speedwell, Veronica chamaedrys, 25/05/2013, road verge nr allotment
329, Cut-leaved Crane's-bill, Geranium dissectum, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F
330, Wall Speedwell, Veronica arvensis, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F
331, Lilac, Syringa vulgaris, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F (one, self sown)
332, Hoary Cress, Hirschfeldia incana, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F
333, Beaked Hawk's-beard, Crepis vesicaria, 25/05/2013, various places - in F
334, Hedgerow Crane's-bill, Geranium pyrenaicum, 25/05/2013, verges in a few places - in F
335, Hedge Mustard, Sisymbrium officinale, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F
336, Bush Vetch, Vicia sepium, 25/05/2013, in F on verges etc
337, Hemp-agrimony, Eupatorium cannabinum, 25/05/2013, small amounts e.g. waste ground near allotment
338, Russian Comfrey, Symphytum x uplandicum, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment - in F
339, Horseradish, Armoracea rusticana, 25/05/2013, wide verge on way to White Horse
340, Weld, Reseda luteola, 25/05/2013, waste ground near allotment
341, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Xanthorhoe spadicearia, 25/05/2013, wide verge on way to White Horse
342, Spiked Sedge, Carex spicata, 25/05/2013, verge rising to M-way bridge - in F
343, Hairy Tare, Vicia hirsuta, 25/05/2013, verge rising to M-way bridge - in F
344, Lesser Yellow Trefoil, Trifolium dubium, 25/05/2013, verge rising to M-way bridge - in F
345, a tortrix moth, Ancylis badiana, 25/05/2013, verge rising to M-way bridge - one
346, Pignut, Conopodium majus, 25/05/2013, verge by motorway bridge nr White Horse
347, Azure Damselfly, Coenagrion puella, 25/05/2013, one in ditch near White Horse
348, Green-veined White, Pieris napi sabellicae, 25/05/2013, by ditch near White Horse
349, False Fox-sedge, Carex otrubae, 25/05/2013, by ditch near White Horse
350, Marsh Bedstraw, Galium palustre, 25/05/2013, by ditch near White Horse
351, Glaucous Sedge, Carex flacca, 25/05/2013, by ditch near White Horse
352, Goat's-beard, Tragapogon pratense, 25/05/2013, verge by motorway bridge nr White Horse
353, False Oat-grass, Arrhenatherum elatius, 25/05/2013, already in F on one verge
354, Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea, Lathyrus latifolius, 25/05/2013, verge nr NP turning
355, Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, 25/05/2013, verge nr NP turning
356, Fennel-leaved Pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, 25/05/2013, main rhyne from cycle path
357, Black Mustard, Brassica nigra, 25/05/2013, nr main rhyne by cycle path - in F
358, English Oak, Quercus robur, 25/05/2013, self-sown on embankment of main road
359, Charlock, Sinapis arvensis, 25/05/2013, under motorway bridge
360, Hairy Sedge, Carex hirta, 25/05/2013, near cycle path by main rd bridge - in F
361, Red Campion, Silene dioica, 25/05/2013, embankment of main road
362, Silverweed, Potentilla anserina, 25/05/2013, damp field corner loop footpath
363, Common Fleabane, Pulicaria dysenterica, 25/05/2013, damp field corner loop footpath
364, Lesser Whitethroat, Sylvia curruca, 25/05/2013, singing from dense bushes nr main road embankment
365, Yorkshire Fog, Holcus lanatus, 25/05/2013, various verges
366, Sweet Alison,  Lobularia maritima, 25/05/2013, pavement weed in village in small quantity
367, Hedgehog, 25/05/2013, dead on verge in the village - RIP
368, Canadian Pondweed, Elodea canadensis, 25/05/2013, in ditch near White Horse
369, Green Dock Beetle, Gastrophysa viridula, 25/05/2013, on dock near ditch/verge - photo
370, Hoary Ragwort, Senecio erucifolia, 25/05/2013, verge rising to M-way bridge
371, Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata, 25/05/2013, in trap
372, White-spotted Pug, Eupithecia tripunctaria, 25/05/2013, in trap
373, Garden Carpet, Xanthorhoe fluctuata, 25/05/2013, in trap
374, Imperforate St John's-wort, Hypericum maculatum, 25/05/2013, leaf and stem features (Poland). Near main rd/motorway loop path – scarce in Avon.
375, Various-leaved Water-starwort, Callitriche platycarpa, 25/05/2013, ditch near White Horse. In F and FR, stamens 4mm, anthers 1mm diam., photo of wings on fruits
376, Common Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, 25/05/2013, on verges - overlooked from list
377, Meadow Fescue, Festuca pratensis, 25/05/2013, verge on way up to mway bridge
378, Crested Dog's-tail, Cynosurus cristatus, 26/05/2013, verge on way up to mway bridge
379, Smooth Brome, Bromus racemosus, 26/05/2013, verge on way up to mway bridge
380, Jointed Rush, Juncus articulatus, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
381, Soft Rush, Juncus effusus, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse (seen before this)
382, Celery-leaved Buttercup, Ranunculus sceleratus, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
383, Common Water-plantain, Alisma plantago-aquatica, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
384, Lesser Water-parsnip, Berula erecta, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
385, Common Wave, Cabera exanthemata, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
386, 24-spot ladybird, Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata, 26/05/2013, verge near ditch
387, Ivy-leaved Duckweed, Lemna trisulca, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
388, Nut-tree Tussock, Colocasia coryli, 26/05/2013, in trap
389, Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria, 26/05/2013, by pill nr allotment
390, Reed Warbler, , 26/05/2013, singing from pond/reeds near White Horse
391, Redshank, Persicaria maculosa, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
392, Branched Bur-reed, Sparganium erectum, 26/05/2013, ditch near shop
393, Smooth-stalked Meadow-grass, Poa pratensis, 26/05/2013, verge on way up to mway bridge
394, Cocksfoot Moth, Glyphipterix simpliciella, 26/05/2013, verge on way up to mway bridge
395, Small Pondweed, Potamogeton berchtoldii, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse - dissected stipules - open right to base etc
396, a hoverfly, Cheilosia albitarsis, 26/05/2013, caught from grass verge where visiting buttercups
397, Thread-leaved Water-crowfoot, Ranunculus trichophyllus, 26/05/2013, in F - common in ditch near the White Horse
398, Apple, Malus pumila, 26/05/2013, self sown on verge of main road
399, Water Mint, Mentha aquatica, 26/05/2013, ditch near the White Horse
400, Crested Hair-grass, Koeleria macrantha, 26/05/2013, dry road verge nr mway bridge - unexpected here. Specimen retained.
401, a hoverfly, Neoascia podagrica, 26/05/2013, swept from road verge nr mway bridge
402, White-shouldered House-moth, Endrosis sarcitrella, 27/05/2013, in trap
403, Lace Web Spider, Amaurobius similis, 27/05/2013, on the back door
404, Mottled Pug, Eupithecia exiguata, 30/05/2013, in trap
405, Green Carpet, Colostygia pectinataria, 30/05/2013, in trap
406, a micro moth, Tachystola acroxantha, 30/05/2013, in trap
407, Common Pug, Eupithecia vulgata, 30/05/2013, in trap
408, The Rivulet, Perizoma affinitata, 30/05/2013, in trap
409, a tortrix moth, Bactra lancealana, 30/05/2013, in trap (tbc)
410, a hoverfly, Platycheirus scutatus, 31/05/2013, female in garden, right veination, tergite pattern, leg/foot shape and colour etc
411, holly leaf miner, Phytomyza ilicis, 31/05/2013, single occupied mine on Holly in garden, spotted by Rupert – good lad!
1 Not in the square. 2-3 Callitriche platycarpa plus one of those Pirata spiders sp. Can it be done from that? - I assume not.

Sand Point sails past 400

A very productive day and as always I start off wondering if I will find anything new.  A moth night from two days ago bumped the list up a bit putting me on 389 leaving home this morning for the patch.
The highlight of today was finding a new moth Pammene rhediella but the day was full of interesting bugs with Centrotus cornutus Treehopper, Philodromus cespitum Spider, Tenthredo notha Sawfly, Gooden's Nomad Bee, Red-headed Cardinal Beetle and Seioptera vibrans Diptera. Being a bird and moth man the rest is a struggle when it comes to ID's but I'm making progress slowly but surely. Plants I've managed to ID today are Wild Strawberry, Broad-leafed Dock, Sea Plantain and Greater Celandine.
By this evening my total now stands at 409.

Centrotus cornutus Treehopper

Seioptera vibrans

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quick plug

Off to China for a few days for a conference so will fall even further behind the leaders. But in the spirit of co-operation (natch) I'll give a quick plug to the Insect Survey Bulletin - it'll tell you where & when there are (common) aphids flying so you can look out for them - and hopefully pick up a few ticks.

The bulletin is here: Bulletin Archive (note they are pdfs fo individual weeks).

There are some notes on the bulletin species here to aid ID: Aphid Species

And the trap sites are here: Map

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

500 up!

Five hundred species. Five hundred. Shit, that's a lot.

The last few weeks haven't been the easiest for accruing species - cold winds, mainly. The occasional respite, such as last Sunday, was very welcome. Moths have come to the trap at a trickle not a flood, but nevertheless a good range of species, a lot of them in ones or twos.

Plants have also been a good source of new species, and I was most especially pleased to find spring sedge, hairy sedge, prickly sedge and glaucous sedge in flower over the past few days. Sedges, as you may have guessed, are my faves and dear to my heart. Also, it was curious to find a huge tussock of giant fescue in a hedgerow that I must have walked past twenty times without noticing it. Doh.

Anyway, last Sunday was exciting because a wall butterfly flew across my path in the green lane running through the middle of the square. This used to be a common butterfly in mid-Norfolk, but is now pretty uncommon in the whole county and decidedly coastal. Top stuff.

If if if the weather does warm up, I am now starting to feel confident that a thousand species is attainable, and my zealous accumulation of keys, texts and photos is definitely helping. A naturalister needs his stuff. BTW a friend told me a new word for critters, originating I think from the Midlands; gribblers. I like it. Gribblers.

Taraa for now, and good naturalising.

Nearing 450 - Broadholme, Lincs

Quick update whilst it is throwing down outside, now approaching 450 species. I am not sure if I will make the 1000 target now, as I agree with Mark that Moth numbers are well down, this time last year my garden list was over 200 and not the 123 as it stands now. Finding some weird insects though such as the early in-star of the Plant Bug Rhabdomirus striatellus.

404 - SCORPION FLY 25/5/13 
406 - COMMON WAVE 25/5/13 
411 -  ARGE OCHROPUS (SAWFLY) 25/5/13 
415 -  ERIOCAMPA OVATA (ALDER -FLY ) 26/5/13  
416 -  AZURE DAMSELFLY 26/5/13 
417 -  BRIGHT-LINE BROWN-EYE 26/5/13 
418 -  CELYPHA LACUNANA 26/5/13 
419 -  7-SPOT LADYBIRD 27/5/13 
420 -  WHITE BRYONY 27/5/13 
423 -  APIS MELLIFERA (HONEY BEE) 27/5/13 
427 -  CAMPION 
429 - SWALLOW PROMINENT 28/5/13  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sand Point list reaches 350

A good push in the last few days before the rain set. Today's goal with all the wet weather was to get the slug species numbers up but I couldn't find many. Best performers came from the diptera's with Dicrotendipes lobiger, Chironomus dilutus and Nephrotoma appendiculata. Today I also found my first Common Blue of the year clinging to a grass stem.
Highlights from the weekend started on Saturday with the site's first ever record of Burnet Companion. Also a Bramble Sawfly found nearby.
During the next few days I'll be checking for Coleophora cases on Hawthorn flowers with holes in although I'm not sure which species it is in Skevs posting.

Nephrotoma appendiculata

Burnet Companion

Monday, May 27, 2013

SP5595ish : Quality - it's all relative

I guess the one thing that I should have expected when starting this venture was the unexpected ... I've already found a load of stuff that I would never have imagined occurred so close to home. When some of these start to have local significance, then that's just brilliant. Like this one for example ....

Spotted Medick

I am sure this is dirt common for a lot of you out there, but here in VC55 it is a scarce plant to say the least with records from less than 10 sites. So finding it within a couple of 100 meters from home was completely unexpected.

Small Yellow Underwing

Not an uncommon moth, but here in VC55 it's one you'd expect to find in nice open flowery meadows - not on a scruffy verge alongside a busy A road. Well pleased with this one.

Corizus hyoscyami

I found this in the county last year, not too far away but at the time it was very rare and possibly just colonizing the county. So again, very pleased indeed to find this in my square.

And with a few more new for me ticks along the way, this challenge is turning out to be a brilliant for my PSL list. It's not all good though - the moth traps are dormant with cool overnight temps and the weather is turning again. I've recorded less than 100 moth species in the whole square so far, and even that includes larval records (including another one today). I should be well over 100 just from garden moth trapping by now.

Here's my latest additions, now up to 533:

Taxon Vernacular Date Added
533 Aphelia paleana Timothy Tortrix [larval] 27/05/2013
532 Oxalis corniculata Procumbent Yellow-sorrel 26/05/2013
531 Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard 26/05/2013
530 Euproctis similis Yellow-tail [larval] 26/05/2013
529 Allophyes oxyacanthae Green-brindled Crescent [larval] 26/05/2013
528 Empis tessellata (fly) 26/05/2013
527 Corizus hyoscyami (bug) 26/05/2013
526 Athous haemorrhoidalis (beetle) 26/05/2013
525 Cantharis decipiens (beetle) 26/05/2013
524 Panemeria tenebrata Small Yellow Underwing 26/05/2013
523 Puccinia punctiformis Creeping Thistle Rust 26/05/2013
522 Pieris napi Green-veined White 26/05/2013
521 Mesembrina meridiana (fly) 26/05/2013
520 Geranium robertianum Herb-Robert 26/05/2013
518 Tipula fascipennis (fly) 26/05/2013
518 Leucozona lucorum (hoverfly) 26/05/2013
517 Enallagma cyathigerum Common Blue Damselfly 26/05/2013
516 Entomophthora muscae (fungi) 26/05/2013
515 Trifolium pratense Red Clover 26/05/2013
514 Phragmatobia fuliginosa Ruby Tiger 26/05/2013
513 Erysimum cheiranthoides Treacle-mustard 26/05/2013
512 Coreus marginatus Dock Bug 26/05/2013
511 Grammoptera ruficornis (beetle) 26/05/2013
510 Sphaeridium scarabaeoides (beetle) 26/05/2013
509 Medicago arabica Spotted Medick 26/05/2013
508 Veronica arvensis Wall Speedwell 26/05/2013
507 Hedya nubiferana Marbled Orchard Tortrix 26/05/2013
506 Glyphipterix simpliciella Cocksfoot Moth 25/05/2013
505 Psila fimetaria (fly) 25/05/2013
504 Cantharis livida (beetle) 25/05/2013
503 Pararge aegeria Speckled Wood 25/05/2013

And here's a breakdown of the overall list, and the insects:

By the way, when you are checking hawthorn blossom you might find something like this ...

Hawthorn hole mystery

In which case, look for something like this nearby or even underneath the flower ...
Hawthorn hole mystery solved



I would like to start recording in MapMate, both for 1000 for 1KSQ, and generally.  I have downloaded the latest version.  I used to use it several years ago as recorder for my local bird club but never really got into how to use the maps and I am now starting from scratch.

I would appreciate some advice on how best to set it up so I can extract records for 1000 for 1KSQ but still have sites within the 1KSQ.  At the moment I am a bit confused - the beginners guide doesn't seem to explain this.  Is there a downloadable guide to MapMate somewhere that I haven't found yet?

Hope this is ok to post this here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Durham 40% there

Two days of some sun and heat helped greatly on the quest. Yesterday my total was 390 but the moth trap overnight produced a grand total of zero. So a concentrated effort was needed today and I just scraped to 400 thanks to 3 day-time moths, 3 hoverflies, a cuckoo Bee, 2 common plants and a butterfly. Mind you, it took over an hour and a half searching before I  finally got one of my patches specialities, Green Hairstreak and another hour or so keying out the hoverflies, but it was worth it, as one of the latter was a new one for me.  Hard work but quite a bit of fun this listing lark. So the latest ten additions are -

391. Cauchas (Adela) rufimitrella - Longhorn moth on the big patch of alliaria in the South Burn woods
392. Wild Cherry - kept forgeting to look for it as there are only a few wild trees around.
393. Ox-eye Daisy - on the grassy road verge.
394. Helophilus hybridus - half a dozen of this hoverfly on the dark pool by the carpark on the fell
395. Brown Silver-lines - flushed this moth from the heather
396. Green Longhorn (Adela reaumurella) - Another Longhorn moth, displaying on the heather
397. Nomada marshamella - a Cuckoo bee visiting the Ashy Mining Bee nest holes along the sandy footpath
398. Green Hairstreak - checked the main colony area but no sign of any for the 2nd year running. A single elsewhere, clinging to the gorse and on the ground was all I got for all that searching
399. Melanostoma scalare - Hoverfly, potted up and checked when I got home.
400. Cheilosia bergenstammi- keyed out this hoverfly several times to check so I'm fairly confident I have correctly id'd it. New for me.

Green Hairstreak (love the eye-liner)

Actual Expected
Birds   71 70
Vascular Plants   178 400
Mosses & Liverworts  40 50
Lichens   12 12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   9 20
Terrestrial Mammals   6 8
Butterflies   9 20
Moths   29 350
Dragonflies    0 9
Hoverflies   6 25
Other inverts   39 50
Amphibians & Reptiles   1 5
Aggregates & hybrids (not included)      13
TOTAL 400 1019

Keith Robson
NZ2549 (Co. Durham)

Shotesham, smashing the 600!

Another busy week here in Norfolk. Still cool most nights so moth-trap still pretty patchy, but I've been working on learning some new things, such as the delights of craneflies. Really pleased with progress with 612 on the clock now, and hopefully enough guaranteed common things still to come that the 1,000 is well within sight. No time for complacency though...

Late additions

(17th May)
551 Cantharis decipiens - beetle swept from hawthorn
(18th May)
552 Nephrotoma appendiculata - cranefly from by the pond - keyed
553 Limonia phragmitidis - another cranefly keyed from near the pond
554 Tipula varipennis - yet another cranefly, from the common
555 Pachyprotasis rapae - sawfly, fully keyed, very common apparently
(19th May)
556 Syrphus torvus - been looking at Syrphus on and off for years, first times I've found the hairy-eyed one!
557 Cheilosia variabilis - bit of a tricky one to key but got there in the end
558 Epistrophe eligans
559 Cydia ulicetana - netted near the tiny gorse patch
560-66 Clouded Border, Pale Tussock, Common Wave, Syndemis musculana, Dichrorampha acuminatana, Poplar Hawk-moth, Shuttle-shaped Dart - moths in trap
567 Tipula vittata - also in moth-trap

Monday 20th May

568 Goatsbeard - flowers not quite out yet

Tuesday 21st May

569 Philodromus dispar - my son potted this up before I got home, quite an easy one as it turned out. Two more seen since.
570 Plutella xylostella - the Diamond-back Moth, in the trap

Wednesday 22nd May

571 Platycheirus angustatus - small thin hoverfly on the common
572 Goat Willow - finally felt confident to identify now leaves opened up
573 Water Figwort - identified on stems
574 Hobby - hooray, shot across the common on pre-work walk.
575 Water-cress - finally in flower. Assumed not one-rowed microphylla; will check in due course to confirm.
576 Pricky Sow-thistle - in flower in set-aside
577 Dusky Cranesbill - surprise garden escape, small patch of them along a roadside verge opposite to some houses.
578 The Spectacle - moth trap

Thursday 23rd May


Friday 24th May

579 Barren Brome - finally got round to sorting out this very common grass!

Saturday 25th May

580 Black Medick - always find these little pea-spp tricky - tiny point to leaf tip useful
581 Osmia bicornis (was rufa) - the Red Mason Bee - keyed out. Tiny "horns" on the face
582 Green Shieldbug
583 Empis tessellata - a "dagger fly", cool things! Tentative ID via Chinery, then google images, then found keys on Richard Comont's spectacularly-useful website and got there relatively easily. This seems to be very common, seeing loads since I found it.
584 Elachista argentella - small white micro-moth in grassy areas
585 Ten-spot Ladybird
586 Cut-leaved Cranesbill
587 Pipizella viduata (was varipes) - tiny hoverfly in set-aside strip behind our house.
588 Tawny Mining Bee
589 Cantharis nigricans - netted in the garden and keyed easily enough
590 Red Clover - just coming into flower
591 Snow-in-summer - lots in gardens in village, but patch naturalised on edge of the common.
592 Water Mint - first species I've detected on smell, as I knelt on some on the common. Not in flower yet
593 Melanogaster hirtella - a confusing all dark hoverfly I assumed was a Cheilosia at first. Note the flat-topped profile to abdomen.
594 Platycheirus clypeatus - another small hoverfly
595 Tetragnatha montana - common spider, dark sternum
596 Azure Damselfly - female
597 Eristalis intricarius - hairy bumblebee mimic hoverfly, in garden
598 Common Valerian - leaves only, on the common
599 Wall Speedwell - tiny wee flower on a roadside verge
600 Small-flowered Cranesbill - count those anthers!
601-606 Coxcomb Prominent, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Common Pug, Rustic Shoulder-knot, The Shears, White Ermine - in moth trap

Sunday 26th May

607 Wasp Beetle - stunning as ever!
608 Woundwort Shieldbug - several found today
609 Adela reaumurella - had almost given up on finding this, thought it was getting too late, but several along a green lane.
610 Malachius bipustulatus - cracking little beetle swept along lane
611 Helophilus hybridus - hoverfly, male on strawberries (ID visually on abdomen pattern)
612 Pyrausta aurata - micro-moth over the common at dusk

Wasp Beetle - if only all insects were this straightforward

Woundwort Shieldbug threesome

Empis tessellata 

Cockchafer - just because you're big, doesn't mean a tiny spider can't catch you. (Struggled to eat it though)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just short of 300 for Sand Point, Somerset

A late entry attempting to make up for lost time. I've been keeping a bird list on my patch since the beginning of the year and heard about this which seemed like a great challenge. Birding rather quiet today and weather quite cold so I decided to try and turn it around and have a go with the beating tray.
Todays new additions for the list from the beating tray were:
Malthodes marginatus
Green Orb-weaver
Winter moth larvae
Sycamore Aphid
Theridion bimaculatum
Dismodicus bifrons
Agonopterix heracliana
Menettia longipennis
Silver-sided spider

Also Magpie and Lackey larva found and a Roe Deer was the first I have seen on the site.
Couldn't quite make the 300 instead ending on 296 by this evening.
Happy hunting over the bank holiday,
Paul Bowyer

Time for a quick update.

Due to being stupidly busy at work & even busier at home time spent on the square has been limited – though not as limited as time spent identifying, I’m going to have to buy some more pots at this rate as the backlog builds...

This has meant no time to blog some updates but as it’s miserable outside this lunchtime I’ve put together a highlight reel.

Headline – now past 300, 302 currently but I’m back to the microscope in a bit. Since my last update I’ve added 24 lifers taking my pan-taxa total to 2013 The 2,000th being Tetragnatha extensa.


The Bird Cherry-Oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) is infesting the bird cherry near the car park – look out for curled over leaves full of grey aphids.

Phyllaphis fagi can be found in the flower heads of Beech, a waxy aphid it is pretty unmistakeable – ring cornicles rather than the more usual ‘exhaust pipes’ and striping on the abdomen (wipe away the wax to see this).

I found Anoecia vagans on Dogwood being tended by Lasius fuliginosus (three square ticks in one!), this was surprising as A. corni is the more common species but the latter has a black patch on the back absent in A. vagans. (Be careful as two rarer species also have black backs).

The potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbae & the Rose-grain aphid Metapolophium dirhodum turned up in the suction trap catches last week – time to start checking the allotments on your squares. M. euphorbae is a largish green aphid found on potatoes (the other common potato species are the smaller, darker peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae and the glasshouse potato aphid Aulacorthum solani which has dark tips to the cornicles).

Other insects:

Culicoides midges are turning up in the light trap samples. Annoyingly the obtusus group are inseperable in the females which is all I’ve had so far though I suspect C. obtusus & C. chiopterus have been caught, C. pulicaris & C. punctatus are readily identifiable from wing pattern so that’s two more for the square.

My micromoth list is increasing rapidly (thanks Sterling & Parsons – I saw Mark yesterday & completely forgot to thank him in person so if you’re reading this after your long drive to & from Mark, thanks!) with five new species from the square.

Thanks also to Dave Hubble for checking two leaf beetles from earlier in the year. Crepidodera plutus was pretty straightforward if you have his published key (I haven’t yet, making do with the test key – though I will get it soon). Psylliodes chrysocephala var. anglica being more tricky as it wasn’t the typical blue, more a yellow-brown colour.

On the beetle front I’ve also got a female Byrrhus awaiting my tracking down of a copy of Johnson’s key, it’s probably pilula but best to check – this would be a family tick.

Finally the oak trees on the square seem to be pretty hard-hit by leaf galls of the gall wasp Andricus curvator at the moment.


Onwards & upwards, now back to the microscope, a conservative estimate I’ve got another 30 species in there at least, most of which I should be able to key out...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creeping up!

20 more added since my last post, mostly plants because that's what I know best. Number 176 added this evening while walking the dog was Spotted Medick.  Dog walking has quite productive, last week we watched a weasel chase and catch a bank vole, 2 more for the list.

Other plants have included Water Dock, Pendulous Sedge, Slender Speedwell and Hoary Cress.  I have managed to ID a few more insects including a nice black hairy-footed flower bee, mating pairs of fever-flies and Bibionidae lanigerus (a March fly).  Not so welcome were a couple of vine weevils in the conservatory.

I'm hoping for some time over the bank holiday to try to make a bit more progress, I can see 200 on the horizon!

Broadholme, Lincs Update (400)

Some 80 species added in the last week mainly from sweeping around the big pond which has a good area of water meadow. The highlight came yesterday when I netted a moth in flight which looks good for Grapholita lunulana, this would be a new Lincolnshire record for this northern species. I will dissect it tonight for confirmation. Also recorded Marsh Pug from the meadow which I do every year and find it to be common in Lincs when I  specifically look for it. 
It is the first time I have looked for the Longhorn Beetles there are some beauties out there.
Still need some warm nights to get the moth species list up, although the garden year list is up to 100.

 320 -Swift 15/5/13
Sphaeroderma rubidum (leaf beetle) 15/5/13
Chironomus plumosus (midge) 15/5/13
Incurvaria masculella (micro-moth) 15/5/13
Liocoris tripustulatus (plant bug) 16/5/13
Pimpla rufipes (parasitic wasp) 16/5/13
Cheilosia pagana (hoverfly) 16/5/13
Andrena haemorrhoe (early mining bee) 17/05/13
Pale Prominent
Pale-mottled Willow
Pebble Prominent
Heart and Dart
Green Carpet
Fox-glove Pug 19/05/13
Scoparia ambigualis 19/05/13
Parornix anglicella 19/5/13
14-spot Ladybird 19/5/13
Syritta pipens (thick-legged hoverfly) 19/5/13

Microchrysa polita (soldier fly 19/5/13
Curculio glandium (acorn weevil) 19/5/13

Common Blue Damselfly 19/5/13
Large White Butterfly 19/5/13
Harpocera thoracica (plant bug) 19/5/13
Scorched carpet
Flame shoulder 19/5/13
Glyphipterix simpliciella (cocksfoot moth)
Scentless Mayweed
Choreutis pariana (apple leaf skeletonizer)
Cantharis decipiens (soldier beetle)
Leiopus nebulosus (longhorn beetle)

Large Red Damselfly
Xyphosia miliaria (fly)
Black Medick
Rose-bay Willowherb
Greater Stichwort
Lady,s smock
Elachista apicipunctella
Red Campion
Gelder rose
Orange tip
Redshank (plant)
Common Vetch
Common Fumitory
Donacia vulgaris (leaf beetle)

Gastrophysa polygonia (leaf beetle)
Cantharis lateralis (soldier beetle)
Helophilus pendulus (hoverfly)
Opomyza florum (fly)
Parhelophilus frutetorum (hoverfly) 20/5/13

Adela reaumurella 20/5/13
Ruby tiger
Brimstone Moth 20/5/13
Lesser Swallow  Prominent
Bee moth
Common Pug 20/5/13
Common Carpet
Phyllonorycter quercifoliella
Nedyus quadrimaculathus (weevil) 21/5/13
Neoascia podagrica (hoverfly) 21/5/13
Common Frog 21/5/13
Ancylis badiana
Pale Tussock 21/5/13
Cantharis rustica (soldier beetle) 21/5/13
Esperia sulphurella 22/5/13
Marsh Pug 22/5/13

Grapholita lunulana (Micro Moth a first for Lincolnshire) ? 

Sedge Warbler 22/5/13
Blue-tail Damselfly 22/5/13
Cercopis vulnerata (froghopper) 22/5/13
Cantharis pellucida (soldier beetle) 22/5/13
Cantharis nigricans (soldier beetle) 22/5/13
Nephrotoma flavescens (tiger cranefly) 22/5/13
Empis tessellata (fly) 22/5/13
Epinotia immundana 22/5/13
400 - Dilophus febrilis (fly) 22/5/13

Here is a few unidentified ?