An overcast day with occasional sunny spells, a gentle northerly breeze blowing. Temperatures around 17 degrees C. The overcast conditions meant the large species weren’t very active with only a single Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator on the western Dragonfly pond, along with a few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. A small number of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum were emerging from the central ponds. A male Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas along Dryham Lane adjacent to Village Lake was away from the usual hot-spot along the western side of the reserve. With good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans along Dryham Lane I set myself the challenge of photographing all the varying colour forms of this species, the mature females usually being the harder ones to find, though the task was achieved and all are illustrated below. Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum where noted in good numbers.
The overcast conditions meant that the butterflies were also on the low side with only four species in flight, comprising of Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria. A Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae caterpillar was found on the Nettles along the north path. On the moth front Bramble Shoot Moth Notocelia uddmanniana (NFY) was a new species for me. Other species also noted included Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, Marbled Orchard Tortrix Hedya nubiferana (NFY), Yellow-barred Long-horn Nemophora degeerella and Yellow-spot Twist Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (NFY).
A good beetle day, with Black Snail Beetle Silpha atrata (NFY) being a first for me, along with a new “Longhorn” Grammoptera ruficornis (NFY). Other species new for the year included Bracken Chafer Phyllopertha horticola (NFY) and Malachite Beetle Malachius bipustulatus (NFY). Full list at the foot of the post.
Slender Bodied Digger Wasp Crabro cribrarius (NFY) was at the south side of Carp Lake, showing well the scoop like appendage for digging on its front legs. Another species noted was Argogorytes fargeii (NFY) busy with a prey item it had caught. Lots of Bumblebees now that nest are active, with lots of workers present. The following all noted in good numbers Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris, Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum, Large Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius and Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum. Finally a Sawfly which appears to be Tenthredo arcuata (NFY).
A few flies noted included Black Snipefly Chrysopilus cristatus (NFY), Common Green Colonel Oplodontha viridula (NFY) and Poecilobothrus nobilitatus (NFY). Others included Broad Centurion Chloromyia formosa, Tachina fera and Twin-lobed Deerfly Chrysops relictus.
On the hoverfly front Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus (NFY) was a long overdue addition to the year list. Tropidia scita appears to be having a good year with several noted around the reserve along with Syritta pipiens. A Rhingia campestris also posed nicely for the camera, most so far this year have been to active. Full list of species at bottom of post.
Other miscellany included the first Pied Shieldbug Tritomegas bicolor nypmph of the year, with Cercopis vulnerata the only other True Bug found. Several Scorpianflies around, though only the males can be potentially identified from a good photo, this one being Panorpa communis.
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Black Snail Beetle – Silpha atrata (NEW)
Bracken Chafer – Phyllopertha horticola (NFY)
Grammoptera ruficornis (NEW)
Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius pomaceus
Malachite Beetle – Malachius bipustulatus (NFY)
Small Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius roboretanus
Wasp Beetle – Clytus arietis
Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus
Large Skipper – Ochlodes sylvanus
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria
Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum
Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas
Buff-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus terrestris
Early Bumblebee – Bombus pratorum
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius
Tree Bumblebee – Bombus hypnorum
Slender Bodied Digger Wasp – Crabro cribrarius (NFY)
Argogorytes fargeii (NFY)
Tenthredo cf. arcuata (NFY)
Bramble Shoot Moth – Notocelia uddmanniana (NEW)
Common Marble – Celypha lacunana
Garden Grass-veneer – Chrysoteuchia culmella
Marbled Orchard Tortrix – Hedya nubiferana (NFY)
Yellow-barred Long-horn – Nemophora degeerella
Yellow-spot Twist – Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (NFY)
Grasshopper and Crickets (1)
Speckled Bush-cricket – Leptophyes punctatissima
True Bugs (2)
Pied Shieldbug – Tritomegas bicolor
Black Snipefly – Chrysopilus cristatus (NFY)
Broad Centurion – Chloromyia formosa
Common Green Colonel – Oplodontha viridula (NFY)
Poecilobothrus nobilitatus (NFY)
Twin-lobed Deerfly – Chrysops relictus
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus (NFY)
Grass Snake – Natrix helvetica