Thursday 11 April 2019

Been Buggin'

It felt like it'd been an age since I did it last, but I took advantage of the freakishly hot day on Monday and made the 5min walk to Litcham Common, armed with pots, net, sieves, trays, pooters and camera for some serious Buggin'!
Dad came with me and in no time at all we'd found our first invert of the session, oddly enough it was a Chestnut Moth running across the woodland path in front of us. A few Brown Lacewings were on the wing and flitting around the Gorse too. There were a good number of Gorse Shieldbugs (Piezodorus lituratus) as well and it always makes me laugh just how sensitive they are to your movement - get too close and they're off!

Gorse Shieldbug

Hawthorn Shieldbug was the only other one we saw on the day:

Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)
Another interesting find (if you're into that kinda thing) were these Gorse Spider Mites - Tetranychus lintearius. Their web 'lair' gets wrecked in rain so after a couple of warm days is the best time to find their rebuilds:

Gorse Spider Mites

We had a few Ladybirds as well: Pine, 10-spot, 14-spot and LOADS of 7-spots. 

14-Spot Ladybird

Pine Ladybird

Quite a nice selection of Spiders from various methods of searching, lots of tiny Linyphiids sieved from the leaf litter and beaten from Gorse. I really would love to ID more of the Linyphiids but I didn't collect anything that I don't think I'll have the time (or abilty!) to ID properly. I've not got a compound microscope yet and it's something that is essential for the real titchy's of the family. Maybe one year, I'll have a real good go at them..
I did come away with one postive Linyphiid ID though, thanks to Matt Prince, and that was Microneta viaria:

Microneta viaria

Microneta viaria

A bit bigger than viara and beaten from Gorse, were Anelosimus vittatus, a few Araniella species, what is likely to be Metellina mengei (although Metellina segmentata can't be ruled out) and one of my personal faves, Diaea dorsata.

Anelosimus vittatus

Araniella sp.

Araniella sp.

Metellina sp.

Diaea dorsata - what's not to like?! :)

Sunning itself on a Gorse flower was this Bibio species of Fly (one of the smaller brothers of the St.Marks fly). I didn't catch enough of the details in photos to ID to species but it's one of maybe 3-4 different species. Nice little thing though:

Bibio sp.

Bibio sp.

As part of my must-try-harder-with-Bees-aim this year, I was chuffed to key out these two little ones and no surprise to find, they are both new to me.

Andrena dorsata - Short-fringed Mining Bee:

Andrena dorsata
Halictus tumulorum - Bronze Furrow-bee:

Halictus tumulorum

There was a nice Beetle beaten from Gorse as well, but again, I didn't keep this one. It looks quite distinctive but I've not looked into it yet and doubt very much that photos will be enough to nail it. Smart though:


Unfortunately, we didn't see any Orange Underwing Moths around the Birch trees like last year. Hopefully they're still there somewhere. 

A good afternoons Buggin' and will get back over there again soon!

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