Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2001 - a 1 km square odyssey

Still needed a few more this afternoon to get to the 2000 mark, so got a tube out the freezer dated August 3rd, with various specimens from the moth trap in the garden - and a good tube it was, with a nationally scarce saltmarsh carabid and a second record of Amara majuscula, which I recorded as new to Britain in the garden in 2015, plus a few other things new for the year. Have also been looking at a few parasitic hymenoptera recently.

Pogonus littoralis in the garden - a nationally scarce saltmarsh carabid

Syrphoctonus tarsatorius - Ichneumonidae

Probolus culpatorius - Ichneumoninae

Here are the new ones:

1976 Laccaria laccata Fungi The Deceiver
1977 Euphorbia lathyris Vascular Plants Caper Spurge
1978 * Ptenidium pusillum Coleoptera Ptiliidae
1979 Javesella pellucida Hemipteroids Delphacidae (Planthopper)
1980 * Monophadnoides geniculatus Hymenoptera Symphyta: Tenthredinidae
1981 * Eccoptomera longiseta Diptera Heleomyzidae
1982 * Fannia polychaeta Diptera Fanniidae
1983 Ophion parvulus Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1984 Tasgius globulifer Coleoptera Staphylinidae
1985 Quedius humeralis Coleoptera Staphylinidae
1986 * Syrphoctonus tarsatorius Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1987 Hypholoma fasciculare Fungi Sulphur Tuft
1988 Branta leucopsis Birds Barnacle Goose
1989 Morellia aenescens Diptera Muscidae
1990 * Cladius pallipes Hymenoptera Symphyta: Tenthredinidae
1991 * Passaloecus singularis Hymenoptera Crabronidae
1992 * Metellina merianae Arachnids Tetragnathidae
1993 * Verrallia aucta Diptera Pipunculidae
1994 Neuroctena anilis Diptera Dryomizidae
1995 * Athalia cordata Hymenoptera Symphyta
1996 * Probolus culpatorius Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1997 Hesperocorixa sahlbergi Hemipteroids Water Boatman sp.
1998 * Pogonus littoralis Coleoptera Carabidae
1999 Amara majuscula Coleoptera Carabidae
2000 Bradycellus harpalinus Coleoptera Carabidae
2001 Bradycellus verbasci Coleoptera Carabidae

Monday, October 29, 2018

Dalgety bay - a touch of frost

Clocks gone back and the car window coated in ice this morning so I guess winter is here. I set a fairly modest target for October which I've now met with a small number of interesting additions. The most odd of these was Neuraphes elongatulus, a Staph that I still can't believe is a Staph! It came crawling across my leaf-litter tray, tiny but hinting that it may be identifiable by its prominent "snout". It was probably only because of a stroke of genius in the family key of Duff Vol. 1 that I got it, since the key features a full line drawing of the beast and I could recognise it straight away. Other than that I've fruitlessly frozen my tail off hoping for passing Whooper Swans (Lapland Buntings, GN Divers ... anything!) on a couple of cold mornings.

On Sunday morning with the man-child delivered to a party near my favourite vismig spot I spent a couple of hours seeing if I could record 100 species there. Turned out I could and I'm now contemplating dual-squaring next year. I may not record the high numbers originally intended on my first patch but it might help with variety and it's closer to my work. Also it gives me a better excuse to do some proper vismigging. I think it's probably how that's going to go down. The patches are sufficiently different that it'll be interesting to see what the overall total would be.

1365 coleoptera Anthobium unicolor A rove beetle
1366 coleoptera Bembidion guttula A ground beetle
1367 millipede Nanogona polydesmoides Eyed Flat-backed Millipede
1368 * fungus Pseudopeziza trifolii A fungus
1369 S coleoptera Neuraphes elongatulus A rove beetle
1370 * diptera Opetia nigra A fly

Numbers to end October:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Algae 6 15 26 28 28 28 28 28 28 28
Lichens 27 31 35 38 38 38 38 38 38 38
Fungi 60 83 86 92 96 100 104 127 152 156
Plants - Vascular 65 77 85 114 151 194 212 220 221 222
Plants - Bryo 46 52 55 61 61 61 61 61 62 62
Mollusc 12 17 27 28 29 29 30 30 30 30
Arachnida 7 12 17 20 32 36 38 40 53 55
Collembola 5 8 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 12
Hemiptera 4 5 7 9 17 25 27 30 49 50
Hymenoptera 3 4 4 14 18 22 23 26 30 30
Coleoptera 8 13 16 23 34 44 47 52 68 83
Diptera 15 24 38 61 141 177 187 201 219 227
Lepidoptera 4 8 14 32 71 112 159 179 198 201
Invert - Other 22 41 54 57 58 61 61 62 69 71
Vert - Birds 54 62 75 82 85 85 88 93 94 95
Vert - Other 3 5 5 7 8 8 10 10 10 10
341 457 554 676 877 1030 1123 1207 1332 1370
116 97 122 201 153 93 84 125 38

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Slowing down

After a couple of very good weeks I only managed to add 4 species this week. This brings me to 984 for the year at Thorne. Nothing this week even nudged me into getting the camera out so not even one photo with this update.
Hopefully next week will be better. And I will at least try to get something photographed.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Dalgety Bay - tiny dancers

It's been a period of small things - not least small gains. About one a day I think.

The most surprising and pleasing was the Cis pulled from Piptoporus (though I think it isn't called that any more). The fruit body was full of fresh-looking round holes so I knew there was something inside and I knew that I had read something about that something. It all gets very vague sometimes.

Anyway, according to the 2006 Nature of Fife inventory there were no species in the family recorded from Fife, though I see from NBN that one other Cis species has been recorded from 1958. Was this not known? Was it discarded as dodgy? Who knows. Anyway. Cis bilamellatus is a cracking little thing so I'm giving it all the space pictorially. This is the fourth beetle I've recorded recently which comes in comfortably under 2mm!

1356 fungus Erisyphe trifolii A fungus
1357 fungus Erisyphe ranunculi A fungus
1358 spider Pardosa amentata A wolf spider
1359 coleoptera Tachinus rufipes A rove beetle
1360 fungus Podosphaera clandestina Mildew on Hawthorn
1361 * coleoptera Ocys harpaloides A ground beetle
1362 * coleoptera Ptenidium pusillum A feather-winged beetle
1363 * coleoptera Cis bilamellatus A minute tree-fungus beetle
1364 * diptera Agromyza nana Agromyzidae

Friday, October 19, 2018

More mushrooms and moths

Considering how late in the year it is getting another very good week at Thorne with 25 added.
Mushrooms are popping up all over the place - although no sign of any waxcap's yet.
Also a good run of new moths for the year. This has probably been helped that, with the shorter days, I am now getting to work before the security lights turn off.
Among the new moths were some sigh of migrants

The Vestal was nice to get but no sign of any major migrant rarity. Crimson Speckled would be good!

Also a good range of Autumn moths including

                                                    Merveille du Jour

Horsey Corner - the big moth dip

There were a couple of exceptional days of moth migration in southern and eastern England recently, and for various reasons I missed both of them. Very frustrating, as some of the moths not too far away were fab - Crimson Speckled etc. Still, it's turning out to be a good moth year overall, now up to 491 species, far more than I thought I'd get at the start of the year. Add in a few aphids and what more could you want? A Yellow-browed Warbler has just made an appearance in the garden.

Green-brindled Crescent
Recent additions:

1949 Fannia canicularis Diptera Fanniidae
1950 Gammarus pulex Crustaceans Freshwater Shrimp
1951 Elipsocus hyalinus Hemipteroids Psocoptera
1952 Pseudolyciella stylata agg. Diptera Lauxanidae
1953 Leistus rufomarginatus Coleoptera Carabidae
1954 Agriotes acuminatus Coleoptera Elateridae
1955 Leptoglossus occidentalis Hemipteroids Western Conifer Seed Bug
1956 Glebionis segetum Vascular Plants Corn Marigold
1957 Allophyes oxyacanthae Lepidoptera:moths Green-brindled Crescent
1958 Macrolepiota procera Fungi Parasol
1959 Chortodes pygmina Lepidoptera:moths Small Wainscot
1960 Monopis obviella Lepidoptera:moths Yellow-backed Clothes Moth
1961 Medicago lupulina Vascular Plants Black Medick
1962 Entomobrya nivalis Springtails etc Collembola
1963 Entomobrya intermedia Springtails etc Collembola
1964 Neuroterus albipes Hymenoptera Smooth Spangle Gall on Oak
1965 Fenusa dohrnii Hymenoptera Symphyta: Tenthredinidae
1966 Phyllonorycter stettinensis Lepidoptera:moths Leaf mine on Alder
1967 Stigmella glutinosae Lepidoptera:moths White-barred Alder Pygmy
1969 Hylemya variata Diptera Anthomyiidae
1970 Neuroterus quercusbaccarum Hymenoptera Common Spangle Gall on Oak
1971 Neuroterus anthracinus Hymenoptera Oyster Gall on Oak
1972 Phyllonorycter quercifoliella Lepidoptera:moths Common Oak Midget
1973 Drepanosiphum platanoidis Hemipteroids Common Sycamore Aphid
1974 Phylloscopus inornatus Birds Yellow-browed Warbler

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Skye - All about the Verts

At this stage in the game I certainly didn't expect that five of the last eight additions would be birds, but that's how it's panned out. To be fair, I also have a fair selection of small stuff beaten from trees  this morning which I've yet to check (pretty sure none of them are birds though...) Spent a lot of time pishing in the woods for the YBW without success, though a late Willow Warbler was a bit of a shocker. 

No pics today, so here's the additions as a simple list:

1184* (not 1183 as mentioned last time) - Yellow-browed Warbler - was here for 2 days
1185* - Fungus - Fomitopsis betulina Birch Polypore - suddenly appeared on a Downy Birch
1186 - Bird - Fieldfare - 1 overhead
1187* - Bird - Barnacle Goose - 15 low overhead
1188* - Bird - Brambling - 1 overhead
1189 - Bird - Stonechat - 2 in a weedy field
1190* - Fungus - Stereum rugosum - loads on Hazel, scratch it and watch it 'bleed'
1191 - Fungus - Groundsel Rust - finally! Been checking since January!

(* - new for square)

Should smash 1200 pretty soon, but those three weeks spent touring southern England have massively reduced my chances of attaining the hoped for 1350 species this year. We'll see. 

Update -
1192* - Fungus - Phoma (Stagnospora) samararum on Ash key wings
1193* - Fungus - Phomopsis pterophila (Diaporthe samaricola) on Ash key seeds

Later Update -
1194* - Moth - Ectoedemia argyropeza - tenanted mines on fallen Aspen leaves

found a bunch of Aspen leaves with the rather obvious 'green islands' of Ectoedemia argyropeza in them. Turns out to be entirely new to Skye and, rather surprisingly, new to me too. I was sure I'd seen this before, must be thinking about green islands on something else. Anyway, pics - huzzah!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dalgety bay quickie - The Call of Chthonid

Quickie update because I'm stoked about finding my second pseudoscorpion, common though it many be, and the smallest beetle I've ever ID'd (or am ever likely to?). The pseud was sieved out of woodland litter and just as I was thinking I'd finally added the one species I expected to find it turned out I may be looking at the possibility of recording TWO pseudoscorpions. IF I can find the other one that is...

The Rugilus came out of the woodchip pile and was about the only thing that did so far. There's an as-yet-undetermined Sepedophilus but I think that's the only other. (edit: Rugilus last recorded in the county pre-1900 and apparently few Scottish records)

Litter at the high tide of last week's storm dropped about 100 beetles in one tap, and I haven't even begun to get to the bottom of that though most were a black Aphodius. There's probably enough there for my expected 2-a-day until end of October. Two a day is about as fast as I can go on these I suspect. On a good day.

Having discovered two species of Ptiliidae I was happy to enjoy looking at them undetermined until I discovered that all the keys I needed were there in German but also in a very nice translation into English with pictures courtesy of Mike Hackston. 0.7mm of beetle is not a lot, and they were dwarfed under bark by the springtails they were beside (Neanura). The leaf-litter Atrotrichus was a whopper by comparison at 1.1mm and the heavyweight of its genus in Britain!

Common chthonid

Rugilus orbiculatus

Ptinella aptera

Spermotheca in situ - check the "trumpet" on the right had side

1351 diptera Polietes lardarius Muscidae
1352 * coleoptera Atrotrichis intermedia A feather-winged beetle
1353 * coleoptera Ptinella aptera A feather-winged beetle
1354 * pseudoscorpion Chthonius ischnocheles Common chthonid
1355 * coleoptera Rugilus orbiculatus A rove beetle

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Siberian Skye

I'm finally returned from three long weeks PSLing the heck outta the southern counties of Englandshire. First port of call (after bed...) was Uig Wood. And that's where I bumped into species number 1183 this morning, a simply superb Yellow-browed Warbler, pished in from the rain and wind and straight onto my 1KSQ List. 

Somehow, Skye's first Yellow-browed Warbler wasn't recorded until 2016 (2 birds) and my bird today still counts as a local Mega. No pics, I was far too busy enjoying this sprite of a bird for that (oh alright, so I couldn't digi-bin the fast-moving little bugger else I'd already have whacked up an image...)

But it's good to be back. I hope to implement some of the stuff I've recently learned now that I'm back on patch. Watch this space, guys - The Gibster is back! 

1183 - Yellow-browed Warbler (hell yeah)

Dalgety Bay - Barking up the right tree

So after a week in warmer climes it's back to autumn leaves and chilly air. I spent a lot of time reading the Coleopterists Handbook while I was away so that definitely coloured my activities when I got back!

The main recent batch of records came from a sycamore that keeled over during a storm earlier this year It has so far produced Rhizohagus dispar (first county record since 1853), Agathidium nigripenne (first county record), Acidota crenata and some springtails, and I still have other specimens in the bullpen.

After finding galls on beech I decided to check a nearby oak ... wait, that's a pretty pointy oak! Nuff said.

The sieve's been getting some action too. Mostly leaf litter and a bit of soil/sand, but there's a pile of woodchip I have my eye on.

(just saw Seth's updates on PSL website. No wonder he's not adding much to his Skye list! Looks like good times)

Fallen sycamore


Agathidium nigripenne

Hartigiola on beech leaves

Turkey Oak

1331 bird Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon
1332 coleoptera Paradromius linearis A ground beetle
1333 * insect-other Limnephilus auriculus A Caddisfly
1334 lep-moth Epiritta christyi Pale November Moth
1335 diptera Schoenomyza litorella Muscidae
1336 * diptera Caliopum aeneum Lauxanidae
1337 lep-moth Agrochola lota Red-line Quaker
1338 hemiptera Anthocoris nemorum A mirid bug
1339 bird Acanthis cabaret Lesser Redpoll
1340 * diptera Phytomyza spinaciae Agromyzidae
1341 * diptera Peplomya litura Lauxaniidae
1342 * flowering plant Quercus cerris Turkey Oak
1343 lep-moth Agrochola macilenta Yellow-line Quaker
1344 * coleoptera Xantholoma linearis A rove beetle
1345 * coleoptera Rhizophagus dispar A rhizophagid beetle
1346 * coleoptera Agathidium nigripenne A round fungus beetle
1347 * diptera Hartigiola annulipes A gall midge
1348 * coleoptera Acidota crenata A rove beetle
1349 collembola Neanura muscorum A springtail
1350 * coleoptera Anthobium atrocephalum A rove beetle

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Horsey Corner - fly me to the moon...

Well, this is a good proboscis...

Stomoxys calcitrans
A few more:

1933 Adalia bipunctata Coleoptera 2-spot Ladybird
1934 Graphomya minor Diptera Muscidae
1935 Agrochola circellaris Lepidoptera:moths The Brick
1936 Epirrita dilutata Lepidoptera:moths November Moth
1937 Conistra ligula Lepidoptera:moths Dark Chestnut
1938 * Phytomyza minuscula Diptera Agromyzidae
1939 Odiellus spinosus Arachnids Harvestman
1940 Platycheirus scutatus Diptera Syrphidae
1941 Limonia phragmitidis Diptera Cranefly
1942 Netelia inedita Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1943 * Cladius brullei Hymenoptera Symphyta
1944 Meigenia mutabilis Diptera Tachinidae
1945 * Thaumatomyia trifasciata Diptera Chloropidae
1946 Larentia clavaria Lepidoptera:moths The Mallow
1947 Stomoxys calcitrans Diptera Muscidae
1948 Metallus lanceolatus Hymenoptera Symphyta

Fungi time

Just completed the first week back at Thorne after my travels and it was good to see that finally the autumn fungi were starting to appear.

                                                  Fly Agaric's

Still no sign of any Waxcaps yet and perhaps the very dry summer will of had a major negative effect on them.
Also this week several species of autumn moths were new for the year and this helped push the score at Thorne to 959. This is made up from the following groups.
Mammals 11, Birds 62, Amphibians 3, Fish 1, Odonata 13, Orthoptera 7, Hemiptera 34, Butterflies 22, Moths 207, Coleoptera 33, Hymenoptera 47, Diptera 53, Insects RSO 4, Molluscs 19, Arachnids 19, Crustacea 6, Annelids 5, Plants 302, Bryophytes 24, Fungi 56, and Lichen 31.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Horsey Corner - Swollen Syphunculi

Don't often look at aphids, but caught quite a few distinctive looking ones the other day - a bit of investigation showed them to be Hyperomyzus pallidus, which uses Sonchus as a host plant at this time of year - lots of Perennial Sow Thistle (and also Marsh Sow Thistle) round here, so that's presumably where they came from. A reasonable number of autumn moths recently, plus a sweet little baby Grass Snake in the garden. The Red Deer stags are bellowing away this morning, don't want to get too close to them...

Hyperomyzus pallidus

Flounced Chestnut

Feathered Thorn

Merveille du Jour
1903 Psallus varians Hemipteroids Mirisae
1904 * Chamaepsylla hartigi Hemipteroids Psyllidae
1905 * Ophion crassicornis Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1906 * Netelia fuscicornis Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1907 Keijia tincta Arachnids Theridiidae
1908 * Ichneumon xanthorius Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae
1909 Lasioglossum lativentre Hymenoptera Lasioglossum - Furry-claspered Furrow Bee
1910 Cyphon coarctatus Coleoptera Scirtidae
1911 Hylyphantes graminicola Arachnids Linyphiidae
1912 Andrena synadelpha Hymenoptera Andrenidae: Broad-margined Mining Bee
1913 Anoplus plantaris Coleoptera Weevil
1914 Platycheirus angustatus Diptera Syrphidae
1915 Agriotes sputator Coleoptera Elateridae
1916 Brachypterus urticae Coleoptera Nitidulidae
1917 Dichonia aprilina Lepidoptera:moths Merveille du Jour
1918 Xanthia aurago Lepidoptera:moths Barred Sallow
1919 Eugnorisma glareosa Lepidoptera:moths Autumnal Rustic
1920 Cerodontha incisa Diptera Agromyzidae
1921 Agrochola lota Lepidoptera:moths Red-line Quaker
1922 Dolichopus trivialis Diptera Dolichopodidae
1923 Dolichopus popularis Diptera Dolichopodidae
1924 Halidamia affinis Hymenoptera Symphyta
1925 Natrix natrix Reptiles Grass Snake
1926 Minettia rivosa s.l. Diptera Lauxaniidae
1927 * Hyperomyzus pallidus Hemipteroids Aphidinae
1928 Chamaepsila rosae Diptera Psilidae
1929 * Helina reversio Diptera Muscidae
1930 * Calliopum simillimum Diptera Lauxaniidae
1931 Agrochola helvola Lepidoptera:moths Flounced Chestnut
1932 Colotois pennaria Lepidoptera:moths Feathered Thorn

Monday, October 1, 2018

Dalgety Bay - end of September in round numbers

An amazing amount of round numbers involved in late September. I had my 150th beetle, my 100th arachnid and reached 1330 species for the square while moving to position 40 in the PSL rankings. It was a way better run than I expected and included a first-for-Scotland flat-footed fly (Lindneromyia dorsalis) confirmed this morning. October includes school holidays so it will be a quieter month. At least in theory.

(I actually managed to forget I saw a Peregrine Sunday morning. Add one to all totals below!)

Lindneromyia dorsalis

Lepthyphantes tenebricola


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Algae 6 15 26 28 28 28 28 28 28
Lichens 27 31 35 38 38 38 38 38 38
Fungi 60 83 86 92 96 100 104 127 152
Plants - Vascular 65 77 85 114 151 194 212 220 221
Plants - Bryo 46 52 55 61 61 61 61 61 62
Mollusc 12 17 27 28 29 29 30 30 30
Arachnida 7 12 17 20 32 36 38 40 53
Collembola 5 8 10 10 10 10 10 10 11
Hemiptera 4 5 7 9 17 25 27 30 49
Hymenoptera 3 4 4 14 18 22 23 26 30
Coleoptera 8 13 16 23 34 44 47 52 67
Diptera 15 24 38 61 141 177 187 201 219
Lepidoptera 4 8 14 32 71 112 159 179 198
Invert - Other 22 41 54 57 58 61 61 62 69
Vert - Birds 54 62 75 82 85 85 88 93 93
Vert - Other 3 5 5 7 8 8 10 10 10
341 457 554 676 877 1030 1123 1207 1330

1324 * fungus Erysiphe cichoracearum Thistle midlew
1325 spider Steatoda bipunctata A spider
1326 spider Lepthyphantes tenebricola A Linyphiid spider
1327 * collembola Dicyrtomina minuta A springtail
1328 lep-moth Thera britannica Spruce Carpet
1329 lep-moth Lithophane leautieri Blair's Shoulder-knot
1330 * coleoptera Cryptophagus dentatus A cryptohagid beetle