Thursday, 30 March 2017


Dealing with potted specimens from a headtorch moth walk added an equal amount of non-moth species to the list - mostly arachnid, but also the first lacewing of the year.

Harpactea hombergi was a nice find hunting woodlice on a tree trunk, and even nicer it was an adult male (amazingly all potted specimens were identifiable!)

Harpactea hombergi
Also adult male was this nice and huge Amaurobius ferox, which was so big I thought it was a Tegeneria to begin with

Sticking with arachnids there was Xygiella x-notata (ad. f. - several) and a couple of Harvestmen - Mitopus morio and Platybunus triangularis

To round off the evening a lacewing dropped into a mammoth vein-examining process produced Wesmaelius nervosus. This was a most bizarre catch, as while examining an ivy covered tree it actually fell into the net. Some things just want to be counted!

Total session results:

407 Amaurobius ferox A spider
408 Platybunus triangularis A harvestman
409 Mitopus morio A harvestman
410 Harpactea hombergi A spider
411 Zygiella x-notata A spider
412 Limonia nubeculosa A cranefly
413 Wesmaelius nervosus A brown lacewing

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

400 breakthrough

Broke through the 400 barrier with a nocturnal headtorch rampage with my son. 7 species of moth caught and a few other things besides (not yet determined/added to the list). This probably marks the beginning of the serious invert bothering and I'm looking to April to reach the half way mark. At this rate it'll be a dawdle (!)

Diurnea fagella

Water Carpet

Water Carpet

Agonopterix heracliana

Double-striped Pug

Monday, 27 March 2017

Green Shore Crab ... Green Shore Crab ... Green Shore Crab ... Green Shore Crab ...

Green Shore Crab ... Green Shore Crab ... Green Shore  ... wait! Not Green Shore Crab!

Edible Shore Crab. An amuse-bouche in this case

 A beautiful morning on Saturday and another combo of crab & fish amongst a handful of additions


Busy times yesterday meant no additions, not even to stock

390 Lipophrys pholis Shanny
391 Cancer pagurus Edible crab
392 Veronica filiformis Slender Speedwell
393 Idotea granulosa A marine isopod
394 Lanice conchilega Sand Mason

Chiffchaffs all over the shop this morning so hopefully pick one up on the patch at lunchtime.

Friday, 24 March 2017


Where's my Chiffchaff? Where's my Sandwich Tern? Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Class Jan Feb Mar
Verts 40 54 63
Inverts 54 106 125
Plants 69 92 100
Fungi 66 72 85
Algae 8 13 16
Sum 237 337 389

Breakdown of species recording so far by rough class

Panic at the Disco

Picked up a couple of pine cones and some litter from a small woodland surrounding the Chapel of the Earls of Moray (there are seven of 'em - just buried there in the middle of the what is now a housing development). So intent was I on finding hyphomycetes and other minutiae that it felt like walking into a lamppost when I turned a cone under the lens to find it covered in discos. Barely visible with the naked eye as they're pretty small but under magnifcation they take up a lot of real estate.

I battered at them a bit with Ellis and Ellis "Microfungi" (this "Ellis and Ellis" being the one most people refer to despite the existence of several "Ellis and Ellis" books) but missed the fact that they are plurivorous wood munchers rather than a pine/larch/conifer specialist. Turning to "Ascos in Colour" (Thomson) while knowing that it was a Mollisia s.l. allowed me to key it out to Niptera ramincola and thus find it retrospectively in Ellis and Ellis. Phew - what an emotional rollercoaster!

Thomson does actually mention pine cones as a substrate though E&E doesn't, oddly.

This morning a brief tour produced nothing (except a sense of well-being in the morning sunshine but I can't count THAT)

I did find what I always find - one of the most abundant species on the beach in the bay. Ballus golfiensis


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Life is much better down where it's wetter, take it from me ...

I was determined not to let this pretty polysiphonous thing beat me so it was out with the razorblades. A quickie browse of the seaweed book suggested this might be P.fucoides, so when I keyed it out in a grown up key to P.nigrescens I was discombobulated briefly. When I realised they were the same thing all was well.

This is the second species this week that has had different names when keyed out! (Helina evecta
does not key out as Helina evecta, because it used to be called something else. Can't beat the stability of scientific names ...)

Anyway, Polysiphonia fucoides, ladies and gentlemen


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

British Summertime

It is, naturally, snowing today in Southeast Scotland. Yesterday on a rather blustery day there was a decent amount of sun though. Having seen one Episyrphus out and about i optimistically trundled down the coastal woodland with a net, thinking that two species of calyptrate would be a good haul. In the end I came out with three, but one of them was an anthomyiid, a family from which I can comfortably cope with one species (and it likes Salix so I may be out of luck).

Calliphora vicina was a nice easy one which I probably should have done in the pot and then released, and the other I'm moderately sure is Helina evecta, though I'll cross check it.

Calliphora vicina with its brown breathy-hole

Helina evecta - putative (but those infuscated x-veins...)