Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ladybird #15 - 24-spot

I was at Totternhoe today helping with the man orchid monitoring and just before the end Wilf Powell did some sweeping of low vegetation. He found this 24-spot ladybird, the only ladybird that I'd seen all day, and fortunately one of my "missing" species. The elytra are covered with fine hairs.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Shieldbug #10 - Forget-me-not

Yes, I know it's out of focus! I was carrying my Nikon P7800 today for some stupid reason and it isn't great at macro - the background is sharp though! Anyway, it is of the Forget-me-not Shieldbug and was at Rookery Pit. (There are similar shield bug species with lighter bits around the edge put this one was pure black, hence Forget-me-not).


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Shieldbug #9 - Bishop's Mitre

This was intended only as a "banker" shot, and glad that I took it, as it flew off immediately afterwards. Swept at Sandy Smith NR, the Bishop's Mitre shieldbug

Ladybird #14 - Kidney Spot

I only saw two ladybirds all day today, one harlequin and this Kidney Spot Ladybird, fortunately one of my "missing" species. This was crawling on the trunk of an Ash tree at Sandy Smith NR. This species is most frequently seen crawling on trunks and branches where it is looking for scale insects to eat.


Chrysolina fastuosa?

I'm hoping/presuming that this is the bum of Chrysolina fastuosa which feeds on white dead nettle and is what it was on at Sandy Smith NR. I clumsily knocked it off when trying for a better picture and lost it in the undergrowth!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Red Admiral

I've seen a few more Red Admirals in the last week, possibly from a migration. Here's one basking in bright cloud at Mowsbury Hill today. (I remembered to under-expose when spot metering on the centre to get "blacks" rather than "greys" which is what happens with default metering).

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Centrotus cornutus

Two Centrotus cornutus at Sharnbrook Summit conveniently arranged to show their extraordinary construction from two angles

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Silpha laevigata

I spotted this trotting along the field margin while beating confers at Stanford Wood. It seems to key out quite easily from the photos as Silpha laevigata, thanks to Andy Banthorpe's website at http://www.picus.co.uk/bedssilphidae/ which includes a key. (Seems to match Googles images too, though this method of ID'ing needs to be treated with caution!). I've iRecord'd the record for the Carrion Beetles Recording Scheme.


Ladybird #13 - 18-spot

Moved my hunt for the final two conifer-based ladybird species to Stanford Wood today and was immediately showered with 18-spots which were beaten from almost every conifer tree. Amazing, given that I'd visited nearby Rowney Warren many times without seeing any. Cream-streaked Ladybirds were also quite common in Stanford Wood, but just one Eyed Ladybird. Striped Ladybird still eludes me...

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Ladybird #12 - Water

On a cold cloudy day I couldn't go butterfly surveying (in fact I never saw one all day!) so decided to try the overflow channel on the Riverside part of Priory Country Park for the Water ladybird. I eventually found a couple by beating vegetation at the water's edge.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Pogonocherus hispidulus

Another visit to Rowney Warren to try for additional ladybird species proved fruitless except for a longhorn beetle Pogonocherus hispidulus beaten from a Rowan.

My initial identification as Pogonocherus hispidus was corrected by the national longhorn recording scheme. Although I was aware of the similarity of the two species I thought the character that I was looking for (a blunt central tooth at the apex of the elytra) would be more obvious than it was. The white mark on the scutellum on Pogonocherus hispidulus is apparently an easier characteristic to see.

Turns out this was therefore my first encounter with Pogonocherus hispidulus but I didn't recognize it for what it was!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Common Blue damselflies

My first Odonata of the year weren't Large Red damselflies as usual but instead were Common Blue damselflies. Teneral, so they don't yet have their colouring. Males (top) and females (bottom) seen at the old station in Willington today.