Saturday's patch walkabout filled in some gaps in the tree and bird species noted from New Year's day. I also added a couple of moss species that I'm fairly certain of (Dicranum scoparium and Mnium hornum); a woodlouse, Oscilus asellus; a lichen, Physcia adscendens; the Common Earwig; the Birch Catkin Bug, Kleidocerys resedae, found wedged in a rotten larch stump; and a ground beetle from under a birch log that keyed out to Nebria brevicollis. This brings me to 60 species so far.
I also found a click beetle under the bark on another birch log which keyed out to a fiddly species pair: Melanotus villosus/castanipes. What had previously been recorded as just M. villosus in the UK was found to actually be two species in 2004. Unfortunately I can't find the info on the details for distinguishing the two. I've read suggestions that it can be done on overall length or by pitting on the pronotum, or that only outlier specimens are distinctive enough to be ID’d visually and molecular methods are required. Anyone have any idea or access to the relevant paper? It’s about 17½mm long.
I've given up trying to tell castanipes and villosus apart. I was severely discouraged when I took a load of specimens to the NHM and Howard, who introduced the split to the British list, couldn't be sure which was which either. Just count it as vill/cast and be done!
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