Wow, what a difference a day makes. Glorious blue skies by late morning and it was almost (almost) warmish at one stage! For the first time this year I could have done with my net, I spied a fair sized bug flying low across a grassy strip, presumably a shieldbug. I followed it with my binoculars but lost it when it jinked into the undergrowth. Haha, the locals have yet to witness me dashing about with my butterfly net! But here's a nice springtime image for us all to enjoy, if you like this sort of thing...
|Hope you're checking your local Daffs for Norellia spinipes, not known from Scotland...yet.
The tide was out so I had a poke along the shoreline finding a few bits n bobs but nothing very exciting. Low tide is still pretty high at the moment, it will be another couple of weeks before we have the lowest tides of the month. A washed up Cuvie stipe provided a morsel of interest with several Prickly Saddle Oyster Heteranomia squamula attached to part of the holdfast
|Heteranomia squamula next to the delightfully named Wart Barnacle Verruca stroemia
The orange colouration through the shell is a puzzle. It seems to resemble egg batches, I brought it home with me for closer inspection, must remember to check! The rest of the flotsam was pretty mundane so I retreated up the beach to just above HWM and started turning boulders. This was more productive than I expected and I encountered numerous small staphylinids that look to belong to the subfamily Aleocharinae. I have no literature for these, plus I think they're a pretty hardcore group to crack. I took a few specimens and this short video. If anyone has any thoughts, ideas or suggestions as to species...
|The larger rocks in the foreground were the ones with the beetles and spiders beneath them
Beneath the same large rocks I found a good many spiders. They were pretty docile and none too rapid, often pulling their legs in rather than speeding away for cover. I think they are probably Halorates reprobus, I took 3 back with me to check under the microscope. Unfortunately none were adult male and I couldn't see any trace of an epigyne. I did get a half decent pic of the underside of the chelicerae though, taken whilst sandwiching the spider between two microscope slides! This doesn't seem to harm them, I can release them next time I'm at the beach.
|Halorates reprobus? Just check out the 'teeth' on those jaws!
Here's a pic of a pair taken whilst still down on the shore, just moments after capture. They were really chilled, didn't even attempt to escape when the lid was removed.
|Look alright for Halorates reprobus?The third one is just beneath them.
Staying with arachnids for the moment, I found a striking spider hunting through the nooks and crannies of a sunlit wall. I watched it for a while before it presented an opportunity for me to quickly pot it up. I think this has to be Tetrix denticulata.
|Long spinnerets, abdominal patterning and habit of hunting on a wall all seem good for Tetrix denticulata
382 - Tetrix denticulata (spider)
383 - Sea Mayweed (plant)
384 - Psilolechia lucida (lichen)
385 - Leptogium gelatinosum (lichen)
I also have a few more stoneflies, a very small water beetle and some mosses awaiting my attention from earlier today. I'll get round to them very soon. Well, maybe not the mosses bleurghhh.