Monday, May 13, 2013


Slowly increasing the pace this weekend, still too windy and chilly to be awash with new species. Found some really interesting stuff though:

401 - Sminthurinus bimaculatus (springtail)

Noticed that there were large numbers of tiny, tiny, black specks wandering around the outside of the hanging basket plant pots. They turned out to be globular springtails with distinctive white spots and after getting a few under the microscope, they appear to be S. bimaculatus, although it's rather difficult trying to spot whether hairs are present or not on one tiny part of the 'spring'.

402 - Swift
403 - Tegenaria saeva (spider)
404 - Myopa testacea (fly)
405 - Common Spike-rush
406 - Nutmeg
407 - Esperia sulphurella (moth)
408 - Hemp Agrimony
409 - Platyarthus hoffmannseggi (woodlouse)

I've been checking the ant nest underneath the large plant pot in the garden weekly since the start of the year, searching for this white woodlouse, and finally this weekend they suddenly appeared there. Never seen one before - superb!

410 - Cyphoderus albinus (springtail)

Whilst watching these woodlice, I noticed plenty of tiny white springtails wandering around the ants nest also. Reading up about this, the above-mentioned species is characteristic of these yellow ants nests and after looking at a few under the microscope, they matched exactly.

411 - Notiophilus biguttatus (beetle)
412 - Neapolitan Garlic

This is a widespread exotic plant on the island but I haven't see many around the square before. It has been here so long that it has a local name, the "Guernsey Star-of-Bethlehem".

413 - Holly (seedling)
414 - Italian Lords-and-Ladies
415 - Horse Chestnut (seedling)
416 - Gooden's Nomad Bee

417 - 22-spot Ladybird
418 - Pale Pink Sorrel
419 - Xanthogramma pedissequum (hoverfly)

420 - Sea Fern-grass

A very surprising sight, growing on top of a wall. Last year I targeted grasses as a new group to study and I found quite a few of these growing in places right next to the sea, but this one was about a km inland.

421 - Aceria ulmicola (mite galls on Elm leaves) - wriggly orange larvae inside
422 - Epistrophe eligans (hoverfly)
423 - Cryptops anomalans (centipede)
424 - Epinotia nisella (tortrix moth) - attracted to toilet window about half an hour ago

Also here's a couple of things that I don't have the means to identify, so if anyone can offer any tips that would be swell. A caddis and a cranefly - and below those, a couple of garden flowers that I discovered "at large" on a piece of wasteground nearby. Cheers comrades!


  1. Epinotia nisella in May?! Surely not.

  2. Forgot to say what a spanking hoverfly that is.

  3. Suspect the caddis can't be done from photo. I have the book and without checking whether it's possible, I guess this would rapidly disappear into the backstreet labelled Limnephilus...?

  4. My first impression is nisella but it is in the fridge to calm down and I can have a decent look at it tomorrow. It is early but I think that nisella may be double-brooded here in the sub-tropics (May-Jun,Jul-Sep) as we have records here as early as 2nd May and multiple May records.

  5. So used to seeing it in the Autumn, I would never of thought of something like nisella being double-brooded on the continent.

  6. I'm sure one of the craneflies in Stubb's provisional keys comes out because of the distinctively marked legs ~ Limonia nubeculosa looks like a possibility.

  7. Thanks Matt - the crane-fly seems to match nubeculosa in the right areas, and also it's the only Limonia officially recorded for Guernsey.

    The tortrix didn't have anything to suggest it was anything other than nisella. I could have dissected it I suppose but I just let it go.