North Cave Wetlands – 03/07/2018

A sunny morning to early afternoon visit, with a gentle east north-easterly breeze blowing, temperatures around 20 degrees C. A good day on the dragonfly front with 11 species recorded, many posing well for some great photo opportunities. Several Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea (NFY) were along the western and northern path along with a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis (NFY). A single male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense was also still present along the western path, their season almost over. Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator showed really well at the dragonfly ponds, with plenty of activity from the males, plus ovipositing females in three of the ponds. Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum are still emerging with several freshly emerged individuals found, whilst others are now maturing with a few red males noted. Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata present on all the dragonfly ponds, the western pond being their favoured spot, with Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum also preferring this pond. A few male Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa have now reached maturity and were showing well on the western pond. Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans completed the list.

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyaneaSouthern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatumBlack-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum

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

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsaEmerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa

A good butterfly day with 14 species recorded. Marbled White Melanargia galathea and Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus new for the year. All the ‘whites’ are now on their second broods, with Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae and Small White Pieris rapae all present. A single Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni was along the northern path near the dragonfly ponds. Several fresh Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae around the reserve, especially adjacent to the Maize Field. A couple of Comma Polygonia c-album also noted, both being recently emerged fresh individuals. Good numbers of Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris on the reserve, but no sign of any Essex yet, also a few Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus still around, though looking a bit worn. Good numbers of both Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus noted. Finally singles of Common Blue Polyommatus icarus and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria complete the list. Quiet on the Moth front, with Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata (NFY). Common Marble Celypha lacunana and Silver Y Autographa gamma the only other species noted.

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonusGatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus

Other invertebrates were difficult to find in the heat full, list detailed below. The following highlights were all new for the year, the following three also first for me:- Three-lined Soldier Oxycera trilineata, Tiger Cranefly Nephrotoma flavescens and Conops flavipes. The remainder were Lagria hirta a beetle I usually find only a couple of times a year, five found on this visit. Common Green Capsid Lygocoris pabulinus along the western path and finally Scaeva pyrastri a migrant hoverfly at the south side of Carp Lake.

Three-lined Soldier - Oxycera trilineataThree-lined Soldier – Oxycera trilineata

Flecked General - Stratiomys singulariorFlecked General – Stratiomys singularior

Conops flavipesConops flavipes

Nephrotoma scurraNephrotoma scurra

Lagria hirtaLagria hirta

Common Green Capsid - Lygocoris pabulinusCommon Green Capsid – Lygocoris pabulinus

Beetles (5)
Common Red Soldier Beetle – Rhagonycha fulva
Harlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis
Agapanthia villosoviridescens
Lagria hirta (NFY)
Oedemera lurida

Butterflies (14)
Brimstone – Gonepteryx rhamni
Comma – Polygonia c-album
Common Blue – Polyommatus icarus
Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus (NFY)
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Large Skipper – Ochlodes sylvanus
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Marbled White – Melanargia galathea (NFY)
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus
Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Small White – Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (11)
Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella
Black-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Brown Hawker – Aeshna grandis (NFY)
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum
Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa
Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense
Southern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea (NFY)

Moths (3)
Common Marble – Celypha lacunana
Shaded Broad-bar – Scotopteryx chenopodiata (NFY)
Silver Y – Autographa gamma

Grasshoppers & Crickets (1)
Speckled Bush-cricket – Leptophyes punctatissima

True Bugs (2)
Common Green Capsid – Lygocoris pabulinus (NFY)
Cuckoo-Spit Insect – Philaenus spumarius

Flies (8)
Broad Centurion – Chloromyia formosa
Common Green Colonel – Oplodontha viridula
Flecked General – Stratiomys singularior
Four-barred Major – Oxycera rara
Three-lined Soldier – Oxycera trilineata (NFY)
Nephrotoma scurra (NFY)
Conops flavipes (NFY)
Tipula oleracea

Hoverflies (7)
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus
Cheilosia illustrata
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis tenax
Scaeva pyrastri (NFY)
Syrphus