North Cave Wetlands – 23/07/2016

A very warm morning with a slight breeze. Highlight of this visit has to go to the Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola, a new species for the reserve, only the day before. There were at least four present at the start of the butterfly walk, with several Small Skippers Thymelicus sylvestris also present for comparison. Essex Skippers T. lineola have black tips to the underside of the antennae, were as Small Skippers T. sylvestris are brown, best seen from a frontal view. Thanks go to Gary Dayes for pointing out the spot to find them. Other notable species included a couple of Marbled Whites Melanargia galathea favouring the grassland area in front of East Hide, where a male Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni also put in an appearance. Other species noted included Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria.

Essex Skipper - Thymelicus lineolaEssex Skipper – Thymelicus lineola

Essex Skipper - Thymelicus lineolaEssex Skipper – Thymelicus lineola

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonusGatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus

Good number of dragonfly species on the wing today, two Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum being the highlight at the Dragonfly Ponds. Other species present were Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. One female Brown Hawker A. grandis posed well along the Western Path. This species is notoriously difficult to photograph and get close to, so was pleased with the opportunity that presented itself.

Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandisBrown Hawker – Aeshna grandis

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineumRuddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum

Although still hot, there appeared to be a few more fly species present today, compared to the very hot days at the beginning of the week. Several Helophilus trivittatus showing signs of a welcome influx of this migratory hoverfly. Eupeodes latifasciatus was a new hoverfly for me, with one at the start of the butterfly walk, and another near the Dragonfly Ponds. Other species noted included Helophilus hybridus, Helophilus pendulus, Eupeodes corollae, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis nemorum, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Syritta pipiens and a Sphaerophoria species. A Flecked General Stratiomys singularior was found along the Northern path, along with a Broad Centurion Chloromyia formosa.

Helophilus trivittatusHelophilus trivittatus

Helophilus hybridusHelophilus hybridus

Eristalis intricariusEristalis intricarius

Eristalis nemorumEristalis nemorum

Eupeodes latifasciatusEupeodes latifasciatus

Eupeodes corollaeEupeodes corollae

Sphaerophoria sp.Sphaerophoria sp.

Syritta pipiensSyritta pipiens

Flecked General - Stratiomys singulariorFlecked General – Stratiomys singularior

Broad Centurian - Chloromyia formosaBroad Centurian – Chloromyia formosa

Finally a few of the Beetles and Bugs found are shown below. A new site record for me was Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata. Unfortunately it never kept still long enough to get a photo.

22 Spot Ladybird - Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata22 Spot Ladybird – Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata

Common Red Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulvaCommon Red Soldier Beetle – Rhagonycha fulva

Deraeocoris ruberDeraeocoris ruber

Potato Capsid - Closterotomus norwegicusPotato Capsid – Closterotomus norwegicus

Full set of photos from the day can be found on my Flickr site.