Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Skye - lifer from the toilet seat!

About a week ago I was sat on the loo, studying a Pholcus phalangioides in its web (as you do...) when I noticed something small and golden shuffling slowly back and forth where the skirting meets the lino. Having no pot or tube to hand, I flushed the loo and forgot all about it. This happened several times over the next week. Today, however, I had a tube on me....

The hell is THAT????
By eye I couldn't tell if it was a giant, slow-moving springtail, a huge booklouse or a bug. With a handlens I was surprised to discover it was actually a beetle, though a freaky one for sure! 

A short while later I was pretty happy I'd found the Golden Spider Beetle Niptus hololeucus, something I've never even heard of before. I pinged the above image to beetle guru Mark Telfer who came back with, "Gripped!!! Don't clean that toilet until I can get to Skye next year!" Unfortunately the house is being pretty much bashed down and rebuilt this coming winter, so I've stuck the tubed beetle in a jiffy bag and will post it off to him tomorrow. Not that he'll tick it, but he can add it to his immense collection of carded beetles. 

Can't believe I've gripped off the Mighty Telf with a beetle I spotted whilst taking a dump! Makes me happy :) 

In other news, I mowed over a Wood Mouse two days ago. It survived intact, luckily I had the blade set at 1.5inches height! It's taken most of the year, but finally Wood Mouse is on the list. Better yet, today I ambled down to the beach, spied my first Grey Seal of the year followed mere minutes later by my first Otter in the square this year! Fantastic stuff. A female Teal swimming about with Mallards was yet another vertebrate yeartick. Chuck in a few leafminers and fungi and the tally has bumped up to a rather pleasing 1180 species. I actually could make 1200 by month end after all! 

Ectoedemia minimella on Downy Birch
Phyllonorycter oxycanthae on Hawthorn
Bohemannia pulverosella on Apple - new to Skye!
Otter. U-huh it is!
Tomorrow I'm meeting the bosses to chat about annual leave. I should have been southbound days ago, but it looks like I'm stuck here at least until the weekend. Ho hum.


  1. Another great record Seth. You've been quietly creeping up the rankings recently...

    1. Thanks Tim, I posted it to Mark this morning so will be properly confirmed soon.

  2. Maybe Storm Ali :is about to drop a nice yank stray in your lap and you're lucky not to have missed it? Well jealous of the spider beetle. I've leafed past that page in the book so may times but never seen one (AFAIK!)

    1. We had a putative young Bonaparte's Gull in Portree yesterday, but "after reviewing the images was seen to be missing several key characters" - whatever the heck that means! Not a tricky gull to ID, possibly it was just a Little Gull (though that's a damn fine bird for Skye) but no sign of that AGP or Semipalmated Sand on the beach so far. No Yankee Sparrows at the feeders either. Buff-breasted Sand on the hotel lawn would be quite satisfying though :)