Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Steeple Clump

Investigated one of the un-visited pieces of woodland at lunchtime (c.NT152829), and what a beauty. That's going to be a great site to mix up with the coastal fun.

I barely ventured into it but it was enough for a flavour with damp woodland floor, plenty ferns and carpets of pine needles in places between sycamore and other broadleaf trees.

Plenty of invert life was buzzing about, including a flushed Clouded Border.I did the only thing I could do. I started a list ...

Six hundred up!

Beaten from gorse this morning ...

At first I thought robberfly but going through the back of my mind was Therevidae ... too much browsing of the Soldierfly book. Thereva nobilitata it appears to be - and would be thus declared as species number 600!

596 Pegomya solennis A Flower Fly
597 Aphidecta obliterata Larch Ladybird
598 Psilolechia lucida A lichen
599 Palloptera quinquemaculata A Pallopterid fly
600 Thereva nobilitata A Stiletto Fly

Unvisited woods and one step closer ...

There are two entire woods in my square which I haven't even visited! In the top left and middle of the west side. I suppose I should go there sometime before the end of the year. Or maybe I'll leave them until I'm working on the next 1000 ...

Palloptera quinquemaculata ... 599 ...

Today will be the day!

The 600 will be breached today unless something major happens. A nice run around the taxa yesterday made for an interesting push towards the May target of 600. Fortunately looks like I'll get a few in the bag over target since June will be a tricky one of holidays and competing obligations.

Finally, Orange-tip

Pegomyia blotch mine - will try to rear on

Pegomyia larva

Perapion violaceum from dock

Psilolechia hiding in plain sight

Larch ladybird from beating spruce

The numbers since yesterday ...
23/05/2017 589 Anthocharis cardamines Orange-tip
23/05/2017 590 Anthophila fabriciana Nettle-Tap
23/05/2017 591 Dalopius marginatus A Click Beetle
23/05/2017 592 Perapion violaceum A weevil
23/05/2017 593 Erisyphe heraclei A fungus
23/05/2017 594 Celypha lacunana A tortricid moth
23/05/2017 595 Pardosa nigriceps A Wolf spider
24/05/2017 596 Pegomya solennis A Flower Fly
24/05/2017 597 Aphidecta obliterata Larch Ladybird
24/05/2017 598 Psilolechia lucida A lichen

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A new beetle for Fife (and for me, naturally) - Otiorhynchus armadillo

I decided to spend the time to identify some weevils (as it turned out A weevil) because it's more rewarding, or rewarding in a different way, than racking up numbers. Not that I had an alternate way to do that - grasses? Ehhhhh ... let me look at those weevils ...

First a lovely creeping thistle tephritid. An easy one to find and the RES has free tephritid keys (in which you can look at the pictures!). Smashing.

Tephritis hyoscyami
Now the lovely Otiorhynchus armadillo, a county first and a big lump of thing to drop out of beaten ivy. I thought it was another Liophloeus tessulatus at first, but when I pulled it from the pot I could see immediately that it wasn't. Well, I say "immediately" - I did pull the Liophloeus from the box to check.

Another sunny day today and finally Nettle-tap moths and Orange-tips were flitting around. I started to think they had become extinct. They certainly took their time.

Anyway, with a few more pots gathered if I stayed up all night I might make 600 before morning. That's not going to happen. I may score a moth or two if I venture out after dark, mind you.

584 Tephritis hyoscyami A Tephritid fly
585 Anaspis maculata A Tumbling Flower Beetle
586 Ixodes ricinus Sheep Tick
587 Rubus idaeus Raspberry
588 Othiorhynchus armadillo A Broad-nosed Weevil
589 Anthocharis cardamines Orange-tip
590 Anthophila fabriciana Nettle-Tap

Oh! And here's my new desk. So the beetle is the first first-for-county to Christen my new desk. Yay.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Scraps and wascally weevils

Grinding my way through scraps of this and that, and making heavy work of the last mile of the 500s. I created myself a weevil workshop on Sunday morning when everything I swept had a new weevil in it! Banged my head off one last night briefly before realising I wasn't in a sufficiently weevil frame of mind. I have no doubt I'll get them - it's just a question of when!

I also have an ever growing collection of jars with leaves which I may turn into records at some point and another gall mite leaf from which I will try (again) to extract some living thing from. I'm still recording them - just not counting them! Phyllocoptes goniothorax rolled hawthorn leaf edges are the latest.

I'll continue to scratch around and see if I can throw something else on the pile from the comfort of my chair. It's raining outside and lunchtime looks like an opportune moment to prioritise my expanding waistline over my expanding list!
Bibio marci was out in force

A "medium" sized weevil with a pointy pronotum

Anaspis maculata

Limonia phragmitidis

Phyllocoptes goniothorax


581 Stenodema laevigata A mirid bug
582 Limonia phragmitidis A cranefly
583 Athous haemorrhoidalis A click beetle
584 Tephritis hyoscyami A tephritid fly
585 Anaspis maculata A Tumbling Flower Beetle

An appeal for help:
I only noticed late in the day this plant which looks sort of onion-y and smells sort of garlicky when you break a leaf. Yet I have no name for it. It's scattered on the woodland floor especially on the edges and I never noticed it (or did I and now I can't id it?). It also has a rust. So I'm two species in the hole here. All assistance gratefully appreciated!

A correction:
Once out of the pot this clearly wasn't a Criorhina. It's a Merodon equestris, which from its location among the daffs isn't a huge surprise. A disappointment, maybe, but not a surprise.

Friday, 19 May 2017

May (and year) target for bristletails reached

After lifting more rocks than a cartoon convict I finally found my bristletails by leaving a strandline tupperware dish in the gap under a log. Fortunately they were little as the dish was dry and deep enough that they couldn't leap out (lord knows they were trying). That strandline find has become an important piece of field equipment, and nobody's going to steal it! Probably ...

underwhelming insect life!

A lunchtime search for life on hawthorn flowers produced only one thing, but it was a nice one - Criorihanna berberina, a hoverfly that has been missing from my list. That's the second Criorhina for the square this year so well chuffed with that. Brings up 80 hovers for my county list (total county list 121, though I added 8 of those)

Also the Silver Ground Carpet season has started, with two flushed from long grass. In previous seasons they have made an impressive display over grassy embankments on the reserve but it takes some restraint to avoid netting them when they fly across your field of view. You do get your eye in though and start to be able to avoid them.

Temporarily restrained SGC

Look how many Nedyus you get in one sweep of nettles! Can barely imagine what the population of this wood is

I returned to work to find this Small Phoenix on the wall. Sadly not countable, but there must be a fair few in the square I suppose.

Brief numbers update - over 580 - yay!
578 Criorhina berberina A hoverfly
579 Petrobius maritimus Sea Bristletail
580 Xanthorhoe montanata Silver Ground Carpet