North Cave Wetlands – 12/06/2018

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.

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculataFour-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najasRed-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaAzure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (male)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (female form: violacea)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (female form: typica)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (female form: infuscans)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (female form: rufescens)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (female form: rufescens-obsoleta)

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).

Large Skipper - Ochlodes sylvanusLarge Skipper – Ochlodes sylvanus

Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticaeSmall Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae

49.294 Bramble Shoot Moth - Notocelia uddmannianaBramble Shoot Moth – Notocelia uddmanniana

49.156 Marbled Orchard Tortrix - Hedya nubiferanaMarbled Orchard Tortrix – Hedya nubiferana

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.

Black Snail Beetle - Silpha atrataBlack Snail Beetle – Silpha atrata

Grammoptera ruficornisGrammoptera ruficornis

Malachite Beetle - Malachius bipustulatusMalachite Beetle – Malachius bipustulatus

Bracken Chafer - Phyllopertha horticolaBracken Chafer – Phyllopertha horticola

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle - Agapanthia villosoviridescensGolden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle – Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietisWasp Beetle – Clytus arietis

Small Green Nettle Weevil - Phyllobius roboretanusSmall Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius roboretanus

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).

Slender Bodied Digger Wasp - Crabro cribrariusSlender Bodied Digger Wasp – Crabro cribrarius

Argogorytes fargeiiArgogorytes fargeii

Early Bumblebee - Bombus pratorumEarly Bumblebee – Bombus pratorum

Buff-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus terrestrisBuff-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus terrestris

Tenthredo arcuataTenthredo cf. arcuata

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.

Black Snipelfy - Chrysopilus cristatusBlack Snipelfy – Chrysopilus cristatus

Poecilobothrus nobilitatusPoecilobothrus nobilitatus

Common Green Colonel - Oplodontha viridulaCommon Green Colonel – Oplodontha viridula

Tachina feraTachina fera

Twin-lobed Deerfly - Chrysops relictusTwin-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.

Episyrphus balteatusEpisyrphus balteatus

Tropidia scitaTropidia scita

Syritta pipiensSyritta pipiens

Rhingia campestrisRhingia campestris

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.

Pied Shieldbug - Tritomegas bicolorPied Shieldbug – Tritomegas bicolor

Cercopis vulnerataCercopis vulnerata

Panorpa communisPanorpa communis

Species list
Beetles (10)
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Agapanthia villosoviridescens
Black Snail Beetle – Silpha atrata (NEW)
Bracken Chafer – Phyllopertha horticola (NFY)
Cantharis livida
Grammoptera ruficornis (NEW)
Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius pomaceus
Malachite Beetle – Malachius bipustulatus (NFY)
Small Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius roboretanus
Wasp Beetle – Clytus arietis

Butterflies (5)
Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus
Large Skipper – Ochlodes sylvanus
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (7)
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

Bees (4)
Buff-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus terrestris
Early Bumblebee – Bombus pratorum
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius
Tree Bumblebee – Bombus hypnorum

Wasps (1)
Slender Bodied Digger Wasp – Crabro cribrarius (NFY)
Argogorytes fargeii (NFY)

Sawflies (1)
Tenthredo cf. arcuata (NFY)

Moths (6)
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

Scorpianflies (1)
Panorpa communis

True Bugs (2)
Pied Shieldbug – Tritomegas bicolor
Cercopis vulnerata

Flies (6)
Black Snipefly – Chrysopilus cristatus (NFY)
Broad Centurion – Chloromyia formosa
Common Green Colonel – Oplodontha viridula (NFY)
Poecilobothrus nobilitatus (NFY)
Tachina fera
Twin-lobed Deerfly – Chrysops relictus

Hoverflies (11)
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis tenax
Helophilus hybridus
Helophilus pendulus
Leucozona lucorum
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus (NFY)
Rhingia campestris
Syritta pipiens
Tropidia scita
Volucella bombylans

Reptiles (1)
Grass Snake – Natrix helvetica