Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eaton Bray SP9621ish

I've stepped up the fieldwork in the last week and seen a lot of invertebrates but mostly not in my square. Have added a round 20 to my total since my last posting this time last week. But I must confess to having counted 6 aggregates in that total which I should not be including: rules are rules. So my new total is 266.

A Muntjac on an early morning walk was the first I've ever seen in this square, though they have been drawing ever closer to the village. Chinese Water-deer should be a banker but I've not seen one yet.

A day's gardening allowed me to add a few more invertebrates:
  • Aegopinella nitidula snails, alive (just seen empty shells previously)
  • Quedius mesomelinus. A rove-beetle in the compost heap. A female, which is inseparable from Q. maurus except that maurus can be ruled out on habitat, and I've had male mesomelinus in the heap in the past. Keyed out with the RES Handbook.
  • Archeboreoiulus pallidus LIFER. A female blind millipede with yellow spots and longer hairs than the common red-spotted Blaniulus guttulatus. Keyed out with Paul Lee's keys.
  • Trox scaber. A very cool beetle and quite uncommon though this is the second time I've found it in our compost. Four on the dry carcass of a Wood Mouse that I found in the garden and chucked on the heap a few months ago.

Trox scaber
Ran the MV light trap one night and added Early Thorn (1) and the sexton beetle Nicrophorus humator (1). The only other moth being a single Hebrew Character.

Other odds and ends:
  • Chaetocnema concinna. A common flea-beetle. One on washing on the line. Dissected to rule out C. picipes.
  • Bombylius major. First beefly of the year seen on 24th - woohoo!
  • Vespula germanica. Queen wasp. Keyed out using the British Wildlife paper.
  • Small White. First of the year today.
  • Tachyporus nitidulus. Very common rove-beetle. One found at a window today.

Eight new plants make up the rest: Self-heal, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Black Currant, Common Mouse-ear, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Deschampsia cespitosa, Bristly Oxtongue and Agrostis stolonifera. Plenty more to come botanically as things grow and flower.

Limax flavus above a fully-grown Limax maculatus. Both in our black compost bin. Ignore the difference in contrast - I think that's variable in both species. The key difference is that flavus has much smaller pale speckles, especially on the mantle, whereas the pale markings on maculatus are bigger (blotches rather than speckles), again especially on the mantle. Pretty sure I'm right here but if anyone has a different view, would be glad to hear it.

I've also got seven aggregates which I'm not counting under the rules of the 1ksq challenge. There are four which I intend to identify to species eventually:
Quercus sp., Ulmus sp., Hedera helix agg. and the woodlouse Trichoniscus pusillus/provisorius,
and three which are probably beyond me, including White-tailed Bumblebee added this week:
Rubus fruticosus agg., Taraxacum agg. and Bombus lucorum/cryptarum(/magnus?).


  1. I'm not finding any info on this Ivy split.

    BSBI are still calling it one species ( and NHM refer to the split but appear to dismiss it (

  2. Chris,
    It's an agg of Hedera helix Common Ivy and H. hibernica Atlantic Ivy. They are split in Stace (3rd edition) which gives the most up-to-date British checklist, having left BSBI behind. Whose taxonomic opinion you follow is just a matter of choice. Going just on leaf shape, I suspect both species occur in my square but haven't microscoped the stellate hairs yet.

    1. So now I'm left with a dilemma - I don't like splitting for splittings sake so don't really agree that the two ssps should really be raised to full species level unless the evidence Stace has is incontrovertible.

      However it is an easy tick as I'm sure they are both in my square.