A gentle westerly breeze blowing, with temperatures reaching the high teens under intermittent sun. Despite suitable conditions there was a distinct lack of Hawkers, a real surprise, with only a single Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta encountered. Black Darter Sympetrum danae, Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum were all present, but again in low numbers. Around half a dozen Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa also still present.
Only two butterflies found, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and Peacock Aglais io, again despite conditions, a very poor turnout. Moths made up for the lack of butterflies, Acleris hyemana and Acleris notana both new species, typical heathland residents. A few caterpillars were also found from the following species; Wormwood Pug Eupithecia absinthiata, Pebble Hook-tip Drepana falcataria, Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis and Beautiful Yellow Underwing Anarta myrtilli.
A good show from the True Bugs, with two new species of Grass Bugs found, Stenodema calcarata and Notostira elongata. Five species of Shieldbug was good result, with Spiked Shieldbug Picromerus bidens, Hairy Sheildbug Dolycoris baccarum, Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina, Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus and Forest Bug Pentatoma rufipes. Finally a Tree Damsel Bug Himacerus apterus was also noted.
Heather Weevil Neliocarus sus was a new beetle species, with a possible Nut Leaf Weevil Strophosoma cf. melanogrammum, the latter I’ve seen before, however the colour of this individual doesn’t follow the norm, so not 100% sure on this one. 14-spot Ladybird Propylea quattuordecimpunctata and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis also recorded.
Other miscellany included a nice Sericomyia silentis hoverfly, along with several Araneus quadratus spiders on the wetter part of the heathland. Away from the usual area of interest a nice group of Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria attracted the cameras attention along with a nice cluster of Stump Puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme.
Full set of photos can be found on my Flickr site.