Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Common Striped Woodlouse

From beneath a rotten log in the woods, this species already recorded at Cullaloe is nevertheless new for the year and for me. It's always nice to connect with one of the species already recorded.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Oulema melanopus, Cereal Leaf Beetle

Spurred on by unexpected success with the sweep net I had a bit of a swish around some of last year's  Canary Reed-grass beside the burn. Expecting nothing, and getting more or less what I expected I was surprised to find finally a beetle in the bottom of the bag. It's a pretty common beetle - a 'pest' even - but a new record for the reserve.

Given that I intended to add something to both the spider and leaf-beetle records this year I'd say the sweep net is looking like a pretty good introduction to the armory.

Oulema melanopus, Cereal Leaf Beetle

Friday, 13 February 2015

Starlings and Fieldfares

A visit this morning on a fine verging-on-springlike day saw hundreds of Starlings and a fair few Fieldfares hanging out in the woods north of the pond, with some occasionally dropping into the fields to feed. Apart from the loitering Buzzard there may have been something else scary out there too, as they were very skittish. I also gave the sweep net a run out again and, not expecting anything, was delighted to find a nice beetle in a stand (a fall? a lean?) of last year's Phalaris. more on that to follow.

Yesterday's Amaurobius:

Poorly marked back. Post moult?

A 'cribellate' spider - the cribellum

subadult male palps - nearly there

First spider, impending sheep

Took the sweep net out for a run yesterday without much expectation, but I ended up sweeping two species of spiders from an area of long grass. The first was Tetragnatha extensa, which is a spider I've seen in that area during summer. There was also a little one of this species, which I am only tentatively identifying on its shape and habit of extending the legs. The second species, and just short of species identification, was an immature male Amaurobius species, so down to two species (fenestralis/similis) which I think can't be separated before maturity.

Also shown up in the paddock in recent times is a water container, presumably for sheep which are expected to arrive sometime soon

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A new spider for me, but not at Cullaloe

At home on the wall I have nailed my second spider since the spider training course. This is the jumping spider Pseudeuophrys lanigera.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Invertebrate threshold

Having a quick visit of the invertebrate records for Cullaloe and especially the 2002 Invertebrate Survey. Puliing the numbers together for where we currently are I see that there have been almost 500 species recorded. I have a feeling that after the 2002 survey something about half of that was the total. Most significantly the number of Lepidoptera is hugely greater through moth trapping, and the Diptera total is more than double. The 2002 report I have only in paper form, so I can publish a comparison once I've digitised the numbers.

Order English 2002 2014
Arachnida 'spiders' 52 56
Chilopoda 'centipedes' 4 4
Cladocera 'water fleas' 0 1
Colembola 'springtails' 0 1
Coleoptera 'beetles' 43 64
Dermaptera 'earwigs' 1 1
Diplopoda 'millipedes' 12 13
Diptera 'true flies' 23 71
Ephemeroptera 'mayflies' 1 1
Hemiptera 'true bugs' 38 44
Hymenoptera 'wasps,bees,ants' 12 23
Isopoda 'woodlice' 4 4
Lepidoptera 'moths, butterflies' 41 169
Mecoptera 'scorpion flies' 0 1
Mollusca 'molluscs' 16 18
Odonata 'dragonflies,damselflies' 4 7
Orthoptera 'grasshoppers' 1 1
Ostracoda 'seed shrimps' 1 1
Plecoptera 'stone flies' 0 2
Psocoptera 'bark lice' 4 4
Siphonaptera 'fleas' 3 4
Trichoptera 'caddisflies' 0 6
Total   260 496

Make up of the Diptera by family:

Family #
Agromyzidae 2
Anisopodidae 1
Cecidomyiidae 4
Conopidae 1
Dolichopodidae 4
Lonchopteridae 1
Muscidae 3
Scathophagidae 1
Rhagionidae 1
Stratiomyidae 1
Syrphidae 45
Trichoceridae 1
Tabanidae 1
Tephritidae 1
Tipulidae 3
Limoniidae 1

Coleoptera by family:

Family #
Apionidae 1
Cantharidae 8
Carabidae 10
Chrysomelidae 7
Coccinellidae 1
Cryptophagidae 2
Curculionidae 2
Dytiscidae 1
Elateridae 1
Geotrupidae 1
Hydrophilidae 2
Lathridiidae 2
Nitidulidae 1
Scarabeidae 1
Scydmaenidae 1
Silphidae 4
Staphylinidae 19

Thursday, 5 February 2015

5 weeks, 22 new species (revised - 23 with Wood Sage!)

22 new species have been discovered on the reserve so far this year - about 4 a week. It will be interesting to see how things go when the invertebrates start to get serious. No doubt I won't be able to keep up! Already this year there have been fungi which have gone unsolved, but that's all part of the fun.

Preferred Name Common Name Date
23 Trichocera regelationis A Winter Gnat 04/02/2015
22 Lunularia cruciata Crescent-cup Liverwort 04/02/2015
21 Parmelia sulcata A lichen 29/01/2015
20 Gloeocystidiellum porosum A corticioid fungus 24/01/2015
19 Marchantia polymorpha A liverwort 24/01/2015
18 Glechoma hederacea Ground-ivy 23/01/2015
17 Pleuridium acuminatum Taper-leaved Earth-moss 23/01/2015
16 Sistotrema oblongisporum A corticioid fungus 23/01/2015
15 Mercurialis perennis Dog's Mercury 17/01/2015
14 Primula veris Cowslip 17/01/2015
13 Septoria arundinacea A fungus on Phragmites 16/01/2015
12 Teucrium scorodonia Wood Sage 14/01/2015
11 Cladonia coniocraea A lichen 10/01/2015
10 Peniophora nuda A corticioid fungus 10/01/2015
9 Hyphodontia pallidula A corticioid fungus 07/01/2015
8 Polyporus leptocephalus Blackfoot Polypore 04/01/2015
7 Exidia glandulosa Witches' Butter 03/01/2015
6 Phlebia radiata Wrinkled Crust 03/01/2015
5 Phlebiella pseudotsugae A corticioid fungus 03/01/2015
4 Plicatura crispa A fungus 03/01/2015
3 Schizopora paradoxa Split Porecrust 03/01/2015
2 Coleroa robertiani A fungus on G.robertanium 01/01/2015
1 Geranium pyrenaicum Hedgerow Crane's-bill 01/01/2015

A new fly

Yesterday's flies turned out to be, not surprisingly, a Winter Gnat (Trichocera), of which there are relatively few species. The key, from 1938, is available online, and is no longer available for 20 shillings!

Trichocera regelationis has an abdomen without rings, hairy eyes, ocelli. and a clouded R-M vein

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Bryo bits bonus

A quick tour at lunchtime on a beautiful day turned up some nice rewards. First up a pass over a ditch for some known species produced liverworts Diplophyllum albicans and Calypogeia arguta that I knew were there, before rolling a log to uncover a nice Brown Centipede in the woodland. Also picked up a millipede which I probably have previously recorded, but not this year. I also uncovered Plagiothecium undulatum in a place I didn't spot it before.

Diplophyllum abicans

Plagiothecium undulatum

Quick look at the water showed it was pretty but unproductive, before I dropped into a small corner that is building a reputation for providing surprises. It certainly did this time with a new liverwort. How did I not notice before Lunularia cruciata! With this area having Pellia endivifolia and Conocephalum conicum, I probably just assumed that green patch was one of those.

Lunularia cruciata

Pellia endivifolia

A small swarm of flies (Nematocera. Winter gnats?) were dancing in the dappled sunlight under the pines and I managed to catch one in my collecting box by sweeping up through them and shutting the lid quickly. Hopefully this will produce an identification.

Dancing flies in the winter sun


Looking forward to this weather breaking and finally getting some movement. It's a bit chilly!

Didymodon insulanus, filter beds