Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31st December: End of the road

Well, less than two hours to go before the year ends. I guess I'm running out of options now to find anything new, although I still have a handful of fungi that would benefit from second opinions, and I have a few weevils awaiting the acquisition of the relevant keys. And I suppose I could still hear Red Fox if one was kind enough to yowl in the garden. But to all intents and purposes, that's it.

It's been an incredible year, and I think I've enjoyed the natural history side of 2013 more than any other year, despite spending almost all of it within 500 metres of my doorstep. The final score is (give or take) 1,406 species. I'm delighted to have got the score this high. But the thing one really starts to appreciate when undertaking a venture like this is not how many species you're finding, but how many more are out there being overlooked! How many small flies, small beetles, parasitic wasps, springtails, fungi, lichens, mosses, etc etc etc? There are huge swathes of biodiversity where I haven't even scratched the surface. Gut feeling suggests that the true number of species in the 1 km square could be 5,000, or perhaps even higher. However, I'm not going to try to find the remainder next year! Time for a bit of a rest and a change of scene.

Huge thanks to all the other 1ksq-listers this year, as well as the many others who've helped and supported this adventure. And best of luck to those taking up the challenge in 2014 - go for it, enjoy it, and encourage others to have a go. It doesn't matter what the score is, it's the journey that matters. And pass on the baton to another group in 2015!

I will be thinking about various forms of "write-up" over the coming months, but for now, here's the remaining species I haven't yet blogged. Many of these species are inevitably things I had stored up from earlier in the year but hadn't had time to look at properly. I have now been through everything and my family have their fridge back again! (For a while anyway).

Happy New Year!

1,303 - Agonum micans (17th March) - ground beetle I had initially keyed this to Agonum gracilipes, but discounted as very rare. Returned to it with the benefit of experience
1,304 - Diplolepis rosae (6th April) - Robin's Pincushion gall kept - in December, one of these wasps had emerged, along with….
1,305 - Orthopelma mediator (6th April) - …19 of these parasitoids also emerged from the Robin's Pincushion, alongside…
1,306 - Torymus bedeguaris (6th April) - …6 of these wasps also from the same Robin's Pincushion gall
1,307 - Anthocoris nemorum (13th April) - a small flower bug found crawling on one of my sons - finally keyed
1,308 - Ischnodemus sabuleti (14th April) - the European Cinchbug, lots of these on the common
1,309 - Andrena bicolor (16th April) - medium sized solitary bee in the front garden keyed to this species
1,310 - Myrmica ruginodis (19th April) - red ant under a log by the river, keyed with difficulty
1,311 - Noterus clavicornis (4th May) - water beetle netted from a temporary pool on the common, keyed quite easily
1,312 - Nabis rugosus (6th May) - the Common Damsel Bug, swept from nettles
1,313 - Graphomya maculata (12th May) - a fly of the family Muscidae. Keyed with difficulty, but thanks to help from Chris Raper, got there in the end
1,314 - Nomada leucophthalma (19th May) - cuckoo bee on the common, male keyed
1,315 - Nomada panzeri (20th May) - cuckoo bee in garden, female keyed
1,316 - Fannia lustrator (25th May) - fly from Ambush Wood, keyed
1,317 - Harpocera thoracica (25th May) - bug on Cow Parsley, distinctive 2nd antennal segment
1,318 - Bibio hortulanus (25th May) - fly on Alexanders flowers, keyed
1,319 - Nomada ruficornis (25th May) - small cuckoo bee in the garden, female keyed
1,320 - Heringia heringi (26th May) - small black hoverfly, keyed from Ambush Wood
1,321 - Bibio marci (26th May) - lots of this fly out today (much later than usual) - kept a pair in cop to check both sexes and keyed fine
1,322 - Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus (2nd June) - distinctive bug on hawthorn, keyed from Ambush Wood
1,323 - Grammoptera ruficornis (4th June) - longhorn beetle on hawthorn in the garden (seen several times subsequently also)
1,324 - Andrena carantonica (4th June) - solitary bee, male keyed from Ambush Wood
1,325 - Crepidodera plutus (8th June) - beetle from by Shotesham Pond, keyed
1,326 - Graphopsocus cruciatus (8th June) - distinctive barklouse in the garden, keyed via the BRC website
1,327 - Cephus pygmaeus (15th June) - sawfly keyed from Naidens Lane
1,328 - Tenthredopsis nassata (16th June) - sawfly keyed from the common
1,329 - Dolerus vestigialis (16th June) - sawfly keyed from the common
1,330 - Helophorus nubilus (18th June) - beetle in moth-trap, keyed
1,331 - Nephrotoma flavescens (29th June) - cranefly keyed from Hollow Lane
1,332 - Chrysopilus cristatus (29th June) - abundant fly in net sweeps on the common around now, took ages to get round to keying it to this snipefly
1,333 - Epiphragma ocellare (29th June) - cranefly keyed from Naidens Field, very well patterned wings
1,334 - Silo pallipes (29th June) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,335 - Gasteruption jaculator (30th June) - wasp at tree stump in garden, keyed to family then thanks to Chris Raper for key to species
1,336 - Leptopterna dolabrata (30th June) - colourful mirid bug, male keyed from common
1,337 - Dolerus aericeps (5th July) - sawfly keyed from common
1,338 - Empis livida (5th July) - empid fly keyed from common
1,339 - Capsus ater (6th July) - black roundish bug, keyed from Naidens Lane
1,340 - Pterostichus melanarius (7th July) - large black ground beetles in the back yard
1,341 - Lagria hirta (7th July) - beetle in moth-trap, keyed
1,342 - Lindenius panzeri (9th July) - black solitary wasp keyed from garden
1,343 - Leiobunum rotundum (22nd July) - harvestman from by moth-trap
1,344 - Athripsodes albifrons (15th August) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,345 - Megachile centuncularis (19th August) - leaf-cutter bee in the garden, keyed from British Wildlife article
1,346 - Glyphotaelius pellucidus (21st August) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,347 - Diplolepis nervosa (25th August) - red spherical spiked gall on rose leaflet with white grubs inside
1,348 - Selandria serva (30th August) - sawfly keyed from the common
1,349 - Aphthona lutescens (30th August) - tiny gold-coloured beetle on common, keyed surprisingly easily
1,350 - Lasioglossum pauxillum (1st September) - male solitary bee on the common, keyed
1,351 - Coccidula rufa (1st September) - small red beetle (atypical ladybird) on the common
1,352 - Archaeopsylla erinacei (4th September) - we received a sick juv hedgehog, which died but provided some fleas. One checked and identified as this (the "Hedgehog Flea") on the basis of two genal spines.
1,353 - Ptychoptera albimana (8th September) - cranefly on the common, keyed
1,354 - Andricus kollari (14th September) - marble gall, contained grub
1,355 - Lasioglossum calceatum (28th September) - male solitary bee on the common, keyed
1,356 - Limnephilus griseus (3rd October) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,357 - Limnephilus lunatus (3rd October) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,358 - Halesus radiatus (17th October) - caddisfly in the moth-trap, keyed
1,359 - Armillaria mellea (20th October) - Honey Fungus, several large clumps in the garden around tree stumps
1,360 - Leiobunum blackwalli (7th November) - harvestman in the front porch
1,361 - Cygnus olor (8th November) - Mute Swan flew over, pretty unusual in the village!
1,362 - Agriopis aurantiaria (13th November) - Scarce Umber, traditionally the last moth of the year in the trap
1,363 - Paroligolophus agrestis (16th November) - harvestman on the wall by the moth-trap
1,364 - Chondrostereum purpureum (16th November) - Silverlead Fungus, on firewood donated from next door chopping down some of their trees
1,365 - Phyllonorycter spinicolella (23rd November) - occupied leaf mine of micro-moth, in blackthorn
1,366 - Deschampsia cespitosa (26th November) - Tufted Hair-grass, found by John Martin when visiting, overlooked by me all year!
1,367 - Agrostis stolonifera (26th November) - Creeping Bent, a very common grass completely overlooked by me but found by John Martin for me!
1,368 - Chara vulgaris (26th November) - stonewort in the slower stream channels on the common, finally keyed
1,369 - Cheilymenia granulata (26th November) - small orange fungi in cowpats on the common - thanks to Tony Leech for confirmation
1,370 - Lemna minuta (26th November) - Shotesham Pond was covered in this small grey-green duckweed, thanks to John Martin for spotting this which I'd overlooked!
1,371 - Pogonocherus hispidus (27th November) - longhorn beetle found inside the house
1,372 - Bisporella citrina (30th November) - yellow fungus, the "Lemon Disco", found on an alder stump on the common
1,373 - Trochila ilicina (30th November) - Holly Speckle, a fungus on Holly leaves, thanks to Graham Calow for suggesting I look for this!
1,374 - Agromyza idaeiana (30th November) - occupied mines on strawberry plants along the Street
1,375 - Trichocera regelationis (1st December) - winter midge, in cobweb by moth-trap
1,376 - Lumbricus rubellus (1st December) - redhead worm, keyed from FSC field key, not sure if 100% reliable?
1,377 - Lepista nuda (15th December) - large toadstool with lilac gills and stem-based, thanks to Tony Leech for pointer
1,378 - Stereum gausapatum (15th December) - fungal crust on oak, thanks to Tony Leech for help
1,379 - Senecio squalidus (15th December) - Oxford Ragwort in a garden that had been allowed to go wild, still in flower
1,380 - Trichocera major (18th December) - winter midge, female in front porch, keyed easily to genus, then to species on length and shape of ovipositer
1,381 - Trioza urticae (22nd December) - psyllid bug swept from Yew in the pub beer garden, fully keyed
1,382 - Opomyza florum (25th December) - small fly on the front door, keyed eventually (thanks to Martin Harvey)
1,383 - Fringilla montifringilla (25th December) - Brambling, male in finch/yellowhammer flock in set aside
1,384 - Capreolus capreolus (25th December) - Roe Deer, at last in the square after a couple of near-misses!
1,385 - Diploicia canescens (26th December) - green lichen on base of oak tree, thanks for confirmation to Tim Strudwick, Matt Prince and iSpot
1,386 - Agrocybe praecox (26th December) - small fungus in grass along Naidens Lane, thanks to Tony Leech for pointer
1,387 - Schizopora paradoxa (26th December) - white crust of linear shards on fallen pine, thanks to Tony Leech
1,388 - Hyphodontia sambuci (26th December) - Elder Whitewash, fungus on elder
1,389 - Hydropotes inermis (28th December) - Chinese Water Deer, flushed from small wood along Naidens Lane
1,390 - Nemastoma bimaculatum (28th December) - black harvestman under an ash log
{Lecidella elaeochroma (28th December) - lichen previously named as Arthonia radiata, had been unsure of this ID and now reidentified thanks to Matt Prince and iSpot}
1,391 - Lactarius subdulcis (28th December) - Mild Milkcap, in small wood along Naidens Lane
1,392 - Cyclamen hederifolium (28th December) - several clumps noticed in the ivy on the floor of a small wood
1,393 - Ganoderma australe (28th December) - large bracket at base of oak tree, identified to species on pore-spacing
1,394 - Falco peregrinus (29th December) - juvenile Peregrine flew up from common with prey, pursued by crows
1,395 - Glossiphonia complanata (29th December) - leech found in the basal leaf-sheath of reedmace along the stream
1,396 - Deroceras reticulatum (29th December) - small grey slug under wood on the common
1,397 - Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (30th December) - False Chanterelle, several in small conifer wood (past their best)
1,398 - Trichaptum abietinum (30th December) - Purplepore bracket fungus on dead conifers
1,399 - Physcia adscendens (30th December) - lichen on wall in the village, confirmed as this species by Matt Prince and iSpot
1,400 - Hypoxylon multiforme (31st December) - Birch Woodwart, albeit on Alder - looks right for this but waiting second opinions…
1,401 - Coniophora puteana (31st December) - Wet Rot on dead wood - looks right for this but waiting second opinions…
1,402 - Exidia thuretiana (31st December) - White Brain, white blobby fungus on a stump, looks right but waiting second opinions…
1,403 - Lepidium didymum (31st December) - Lesser Swinecress - young plants at edge of arable field, ID clinched on small pale bristles at end of each lobe
1,404 - Chlorophyllum rhacodes (31st December) - Shaggy Parasol, several growing in base of hedgerow, looks right but waiting for second opinions…
1,405 - Vitrina pellucida (31st December) - Pellucid Glass Snail, found on tray with my mosses and fungi of last few days, obviously brought in by accident
1,406 - Spilopsyllus cuniculi (31st December) - Rabbit Flea found on cat - required close look at genal spines to confirm

Pogonocherus hispidus - striking longhorn beetle

Cheilymenia granulata - small intensely coloured fungus on cowpats

Lecidella elaeochroma - common lichen, finally named thanks to iSpot

Ganoderma australe - huge bracket fungi that I'd walked past all year without noticing!

Glossiphonia complanata - my first leech tick!

Trichaptum abietinum - Purplepore Bracket on dead conifers

Final Update from TM0025

Well just a little mopping up to bring the list and total up to date at the end of the year. And thanks once more to Andy, and also to all of the contributors for inspiration and encouragement. A happy and fruitful 2014 to you all!

1023. Lesser redpoll, Carduelis cabaret
1024. Redwing, Turdus iliacus
1025. Shoveller, Anas clypeata

1026. Soft-tufted beard-moss, Didymodon vinealis

1027. Holly speckle, Trochila ilicina (unintentionally omitted from the previous update)

Monday, December 30, 2013

TG3208: The final curtain

Back to work tomorrow so for me the journey is over, bar a few more late specimen IDs (if I can bring myself to face those click beetles, sawflies and crane-flies that beat me first time around). This month progress was deathly slow until the chrismas break allowed time in the field for a final push. The final month for TG3208 looks like this:

Dec 1st
1094.  Fox - at last, calling at night long enough for me to get out of bed and open the window and rule out deer, dogs, etc
Dec 8th
1095. Teal - another elusive one, flushed from a small pond on the edge of the village.
Dec 11th
1096. Andricus quercuscalicus - full grown larva in knopper gall.
Dec 23rd
1097. Snipe - in stream on edge of village.
1098. Lycoperdon pyriforme - a little puffball.
1099. Weld (Reseda lutea) - somehow missed this earlier.
Dec 27th
1100. Flammulina velutipes (velvet tough shank) - on dying sycamore trunk.
1101. Italian lords and ladies (Arum italicum) - noticed earlier in year but confirmed by autumn flush of fresh leaves.
1102. Ramalina farinacea - the lichen.
1103. Narrow buckler fern (Dryopteris carthusiana) - in Church Fen.
1104. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) - another plant that has been surprisingly hard to find alive due to a spate of control around the village in the last couple of years.
1105. Small-leaved privet (Ligustrum sinense)- Church Fen.
Dec 28th
1106. Gadwall - on the usually birdless Brundall Broad.
1107. Demetrias imperialis - a notable gound beetle, dug out of a Typha stem at Church Fen.
The notable reedbed specialist beetle Demetrias imperialis

1108. Scolopostethus thomsoni - a groundbug dug from the same Typha stem.
1109. Hypotrachyna revoluta - a lichen.
1110. Purple small reed (Calamagrostis canescens) - very dead but indentifiable by ruling out all other tall grasses - Church Fen.
Dec 29th
1111. A spider Clubiona neglecta - one of many Clubionas inside marsh sowthistle stems but the only one with an epigyne distinctive enough to confidently identify.
1112. A rove beetle Ontholestes murinus - captured in the summer (from my compost heap I think) but only now identified.
1113. A diving beetle Nebrioporus elegans - another pickled beetle from earlier in the year.

I am sure the 1113 total may shrink a little when county recorders question some critical ID, but I hope not by much as I have tried to err on the side of caution and rejected dozens of possibles/ probables. I don't think I will repeat the challenge next year since I have other things I want to do but I will still endeavour to add records to the 1 km square list, and I will encourage others to have a go and provide support to any who do. My new years resolution will be to continue recording and developing my skills with the groups I have tackled for the first time this year - beetles, bugs and several fly families.

Happy New Year everybody and good species hunting in 2014!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Here's to 2013... and beyond!

Well, we are near the end of the year, so it's time to look back and reflect. And look forwards and plan stuff.

So, the reflecty bit first. What has finding 1000 species been all about? For me, it has been the most amazing journey of natural history discovery, and also about making new connections, finding out in a deeper way about my neighbourhood, and an almost biblical act of self-improvement. I first opted in around about mid Feb I think, through the quasi-mysterious and intriguing tweetings of Andy and a few others. I knew this was for me, and my first decisive act was to put together some decent reference books and equipment. I now have a shelf full.
Getting to know these books has been a great learning experience. Next was figuring out how on earth I was going to reach one thousand. I reckoned it would be difficult. My game plans are outlined to an extent in previous posts. But basically I knew that I would have to enlarge my skill base considerably. I couldn't just sit back and rely on my previous experience. Besides, I wanted to tackle new things. It was going to be like exploring.

From then on it was a kind of whirlwind of seasons changing, species coming in, and species fading out.

I don't want to run through the challenge blow by blow, so here's some of the highlights in pictures:

Oak Beauty
Brook Lamprey
The moth trap
Species No 1000 - Lagria hirta

Dark Green Fritillary
 Merveille-du-jour, most wanted moth of the year on Twitter!

And many many others. I discovered the joys of identifying new groups, like hoverflies, spiders, molluscs and ground beetles, and also the frustrations of many groups I have yet to master - hymenoptera, fungi, aphids, springtails and others. These are the future. I found a closer connection with the weather and the seasons. I discovered places that now have a piece of my heart - the green lane, the stream, the ponds, the hedges and the trees.

I thought it interesting to break down my eventual species list of 1170 species into species groups. I think it probably just indicates how large-species-centric I am, but here it is just for the reader's titillation:

Amphibian 3
Aphid 5
Bird 86
Bristletail 1
Bryophyte 16
Assorted bug 35
Centipede 2
Charophyte 1
Coleoptera 42
Crustacean 1
Diptera 53
Fish 3
Fungi 30
Hymenoptera 28
Lacewing 3
Lepidoptera 451
Lichen 10
Mammal 13
Millipede 4
Mollusc 22
Odonata 12
Orthoptera 6
Leech 1
Spider 27
Trichoptera 5
Vascular plant 305
Woodlouse 3
Worm 1

So, there it is. Lots more to discover. 

Now, looking forwards, I have clearly become a committed pan-species naturalist. I intend to widen my search area and start putting in some time at some of Norfolk's best places for wildlife. I won't forget my home turf, and will keep building the 1k square list. I will pass my records on to Norfolk Biological Information Service. And I will try to encourage other folk to get on board. Inspired and energised!


Monday, December 23, 2013


Yes - still finished. But just to keep the species-logging up to date:

1059 - Red-line Quaker

1060 - Black Redstart - one been visiting the garden daily since November.

I may have a few moths and other bits left over in the freezer to check out. I did find this beetle that I collected in the summer which may be identifiable perhaps? 

Update from TM0025
With the end of the year approaching and the target achieved, I have slowed down somewhat, so this posting may may possibly be my final entry on the blog. I wait to see if Andy has anything new lined up for next year that will draw me in and consume me. In the meantime, I am planning to gain more experience with lepidoptera and to concentrate on a couple of orders, collembola and psocoptera which I have found quite interesting this year. Anyway, here are the last few species:
1001. Limnephilus binotatus
1002. Small red sedge, Tinodes waerneri (from earlier in the year)

1003. Common back-swimmer, Noctonecta glauca

1004. Deraeocoris lutescens
1005. Grypocoris stysi (from earlier in the year)

1006. Holm oak aphid, Myzocallis schreiberi

1007. Acleris schalleriana
1008. Winter moth, Operophtera brumata

1009. Two-spotted waterlouse, Asellus aquaticus

1010. Dicyrtomina saundersi
1011. Entomobrya nivalis

1012. Black spleenwort, Asplenium adiantum-nigrum
1013. Maidenhair spleenwort, Asplenium trichomanes
1014. Spindle, Euonymus europaeus

1015. Common pouchwort, Calypogeia fissa
1016. Rough-stalked feather-moss, Brachythecium rutabulum
1017. Silky wall feather-moss, Homalothecium sericeum
1018. Thickpoint grimmia, Schistidium crassipilum

1019. Bacidia sabuletorum
1020. Botryolepraria lesdainii
1021. Caloplaca flavescens
1022. Lecanora antiqua