Tuesday, December 19, 2017

1000 for Skye!

Well, I took my own sweet time but have finally managed to arrive at the thousand species mark. Phew! In the end it came down to two moths that I'd somehow neglected to add to the list (realised that just yesterday) and the 1000th species being a freshwater snail that I found today, hiding amongst a water-weed sample that I'd brought indoors to inspect for micro-algae. It's a pretty grim pic, but please may I present to you Species 1000.... Jenkin's Spire Shell!!!!

Potamopyrgus antipodarum aka Jenkin's Spire Shell
Here's the breakdown as per PSL categories, with the totals alongside the numbers I projected at the start of the year. As can be seen, I was pretty close on some but a long way off the mark with others!

Algae - 45 species (25 predicted) 33 lifers!
Slime Moulds - 2 species (2 predicted) 1 lifer
Protists - 1 species (5 predicted) 1 lifer, it being my very first protist
Lichens - 55 species (60 predicted) 16 lifers
Fungi - 96 species (50 predicted) 37 lifers
Bryophytes - 55 species (60 predicted) 22 lifers
Vascular plants - 273 species (140 predicted) 19 lifers
Sponges - 1 species (2 predicted)
Cnidarians - 3 species (5 predicted)
Molluscs - 40 species (50 predicted) 8 lifers
Bryozoans - 8 species (8 predicted) 2 lifers
Annelids - 9 species (15 predicted) 4 lifers
Platyhelminths - 6 species (7 predicted) 2 lifers
Arachnids - 26 species (20 predicted) 4 lifers
Myriapods - 12 species (15 predicted) 2 lifers
Crustaceans - 10 species (20 predicted) 1 lifer
Springtails - 4 species (4 predicted) 1 lifer
Bristletails - 1 species (1 predicted)
Odonata - 1 species (3 predicted)
Orthoptera - 1 species (4 predicted)
Hemiptera - 22 species (45 predicted) 11 lifers
Hymenoptera - 12 species (40 predicted) 10 lifers
Coleoptera - 37 species (70 predicted) 19 lifers
Diptera - 62 species (60 predicted) 32 lifers
Butterflies - 5 species (6 predicted)
Moths - 93 species (140 predicted - assuming use of a light-trap, which I didn't have) 12 lifers
Other Insects - eg Lacewings 1, Stoneflies 3, Caddisflies 1 = 5 species (20 predicted) 4 lifers
Echinoderms - 1 species (4 predicted)
Tunicates - 0 species (4 predicted)
Fish - 7 species (10 predicted) 2 lifers
Amphibians - 1 species (2 predicted)
Reptiles - 0 species (2 predicted)
Birds - 94 species (90 predicted)
Mammals - 10 species (10 predicted)
Others (Nemerteans) - 1 species (1 predicted)

Biggest gains have been algae and plants, largest losses have been seashore stuff and hemiptera, hymenoptera and coleoptera. I find it quite staggering that one solitary Common Frog sums up the entire herp activity that I've encountered this year, just one species of dragonfly seen and absolutely no grasshoppers/crickets whatsoever! The sole orthopteroid encountered was Common Earwig. However, I have had some truly blinding species up here. I'm really not complaining at all, just remarking.

Of the 1000 species recorded up to 19th December, 243 have been lifers. One in every four, roughly. That too I find quite staggering, though in a very pleasing way.

Anyway, the year ain't over yet folks. Ali, you better pull yer finger out or I'll leave you behind before New Years' arrives!

I've resumed blogging again, check out my Skye's the Limit blog for fuller details of recent sightings and shenanigans. It looks likely that I'll be doing this craziness again in 2018, should anybody care to join me............. :)


  1. Congratulations. And I also plan to do the same again in 2018!

    1. Great news, Pete! You gonna team up with that fella in the adjacent square, form the Yeovil 1KSQ Dream Team? I don't think the rules stipulate that it has to be a solo affair, as long as you both see everything :)

  2. Well done to all of you - a great achievement as always. Really enjoyed following the 2017 adventures. One day I'll have another go - need to move house first I think...

    1. Nice wee cottage for sale up here. Bit of a commute to work for you, admittedly...but think of the species you'd be living amongst (otherwise known as Skye Folk, haha!)

  3. Wahey! Can't believe I missed this momentous event. I already started working other sites and catching up on things I'd missed but still adding a fungus gnat here and there. 2018 is going to be a year where I drill down on my dipterological skills, which is going to require me leaving other things alone - sort of. I'd say 2019 might be a goer for another square though. 1000 spp for every square in NT18!

  4. Sorry, I thought I said congrats, but apparently not - congrats!

    1. Cheers Ali, you've positively kept me going this year what with your continued updates and fantastical species. I have you to thank for my hitting 1000, so thank you for all the encouragement and inspiration, buddy! Next year I'm gonna nail your ass to the wall though, dipterological nonsense or not :D