Saturday, August 26, 2017

Skye - 1am update!

I know I only posted yesterday but progress has been made - so here I am back again already! 

Still no images for you, though I've taken plenty today. The weather behaved quite well so I zipped down to the beach road and swung my net at anything that looked interesting. Most of them are still in pots, but I managed to ID a few this evening.

But first, a dung beetle fell onto my book as I was reading in bed last night. I hadn't realised my bedding needed washing already (I only washed it in February so it should be good for months yet) but if it's attracting dung beetles... 

I added a few new plants and watched a Stoat bounding along the road, hunting through the verges before bounding off a bit further. Plenty of Rabbits in the area, so it won't stay hungry for long. Stoat is my 11th mammal in the square so far this year. I had hoped to hit 10, so I'm happy with that. Even though I seem to be the only person in the village not to have seen a Hedgehog in the local woods and Red Foxes wander within 200 metres of my boundary, hence 13 is entirely feasible. 

Moffs are currently hurling themselves at my lit window. The midge mesh is keeping them out, but a few new additions have been gleaned. I think I need a Tipula key next, the craneflies are positively swarming at the moment. 

I pulled a big, fat green psyllid off an Alder leaf this afternoon. Not too many on Alder and, it being a female, I quickly narrowed it down to Baeopelma foersteri with the toothed edge to the mahoosive terminalia. Managed a cool pic too, but you'll have to just take my word on that (for now). 

Also noticed a microfungus speckling some dead Yew needles. Under the microscope the spores clinched it as Guignardia philoprina, one I've seen before.  Right, here's ze numbers showing today's additions - 

870 - Aphodius rufipes (a dung beetle) - Lifer
871 - Musk-mallow (plant)
872 - Sun Spurge (plant)
873 - Wild Teasel (rare up here!)
874 - Stoat (mammal)
875 - Dilophus febrilis (fly with swanky leg spines) - Lifer
876 - Guignardia philoprina (microfungus on Yew)
877 - Pterostichus madidus (beetle)
878 - Lime-speck Pug (moth larva on Sea Mayweed)
879 - Foxglove Pug (moth - forgot to add this from coupla weeks back)
880 - The Sallow (moth of unmarked ab flavescens form)
881 - Square-spot Rustic (moth)
882 - Baeopelma foersteri (pyllid on Alder leaf) - Lifer
883 - Rosy Rustic (moth) - Lifer

17 to go by the end of the week and I'm suddenly feeling a bit more optimistic about attaining the 900 species mark before the end of August. Right, one last look at all the mystery craneflies on my midge mesh and I'm off to kip. Without any more dung beetles, hopefully....


  1. Good going to have 4 lifers out of 13 additions, makes going out all the more worth while.

  2. Sallow always makes me think we're into the last throes! RES has usable free pdf tipulid keys. Craneflies of Shropshire is really good and there are test keys recently updated online somewhere. I'll get back to you on that. Love stoats. I haven't even seen a rabbit, except my neighbour's ones that used to roam free.