North Cave Wetlands – 18/07/2018

A sunny morning visit with a light south-westerly breeze, temperatures reaching 25 degrees C. Common Hawker Aeshna juncea stole the show on the Dragonfly front, with both a male and female present. The male was holding territory on the central pond, the female ovipositing in both of the eastern ponds. A male Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea was holding territory on the west-central pond. Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator was again easily observed, though not present on every pond. Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata numbers also now dropping, with lesser numbers observed. Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum also in decline, only males observed were over the lakes, none present around the dragonfly ponds. Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella season also almost over, with only single figures observed around the ponds. Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans with several immature individuals still evident. Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa now more obvious in the marginal vegetation around the ponds. Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum all noted and will still be around for some time to come.

Common Hawker - Aeshna junceaFemale Common Hawker – Aeshna juncea

Common Hawker - Aeshna junceaMale Common Hawker – Aeshna juncea

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

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

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineumRuddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaAzure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella

Eleven species of Butterflies noted on this visit. Best of the bunch were Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus and Painted Lady Vanessa cardui. Peacock Aglais io were out in force along the path adjacent to the Maize Field, a stunning species when freshly emerged. Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria have also benefited from a recent emergence swelling their numbers. Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus, Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris and Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae completed the list. Nothing to usual on the moth front, Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata, Dingy Footman Eilema griseola. Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata, Silver Y Autographa gamma and Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae the only ones to make the list, most of the micros seeking out the shade.

Peacock - Aglais ioPeacock – Aglais io

Painted Lady - Vanessa carduiPainted Lady – Vanessa cardui

Large White - Pieris brassicaeLarge White – Pieris brassicae

Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtinaMeadow Brown – Maniola jurtina

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeriaSpeckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

72.044 Dingy Footman - Eilema griseolaDingy Footman – Eilema griseola

Five Beetles recorded, a late Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens now devoid of its “Golden Bloom”. Another nice beetle to record was Anthonomus rufus on the south side of Carp lake.

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

22-spot Ladybird - Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata22-spot Ladybird – Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata

Anthonomus rufusAnthonomus rufus

On the Diptera front, Four-barred Major Oxycera rara was the only fly species photographed, though six hoverflies where noted, Scaeva pyrastri and Xylota segnis being the highlights of the list. See below.

Four-barred Major - Oxycera raraFour-barred Major – Oxycera rara

Eristalis intricariusEristalis intricarius

Other invertebrates noted included Cuckoo-Spit Insect Philaenus spumarius and Deraeocoris ruber representing the True Bugs, plus several Lesser Marsh Grasshopper Chorthippus albomarginatus around the Dragonfly Ponds. The male Large Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius are also looking rather smart, though not always easy to photograph.

Deraeocoris ruberDeraeocoris ruber

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper - Chorthippus albomarginatusLesser Marsh Grasshopper – Chorthippus albomarginatus

Large Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidariusLarge Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius

A Grass Snake Natrix helvetica was along the western path which I only noticed when I almost stood on it as it slithered away. A couple of Smooth Newt Lissotriton vulgaris were still in the ponds, perhaps lingering longer due to the dry conditions and lack of damp areas available away from the ponds. A Common Toad Bufo bufo was also making use of the eastern pond.

Smooth Newt - Lissotriton vulgarisSmooth Newt – Lissotriton vulgaris

Common Toad - Bufo bufoCommon Toad – Bufo bufo

Amphibians & Reptiles (3)
Common Toad – Bufo bufo
Smooth Newt – Lissotriton vulgaris
Grass Snake – Natrix helvetica

Beetles (5)
22-spot Ladybird – Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Common Red Soldier Beetle – Rhagonycha fulva
Agapanthia villosoviridescens
Anthonomus rufus

Butterflies (11)
Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Holly Blue – Celastrina argiolus
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui
Peacock – Aglais io
Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus
Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (12)
Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella
Black-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Brown Hawker – Aeshna grandis
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum
Common Hawker – Aeshna juncea
Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa
Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Ruddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum
Southern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea

Bees (1)
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius

Moths (5)
Common Carpet – Epirrhoe alternata
Dingy Footman – Eilema griseola
Shaded Broad-bar – Scotopteryx chenopodiata
Silver Y – Autographa gamma
Six-spot Burnet – Zygaena filipendulae

Grasshoppers (1)
Meadow Grasshopper – Chorthippus parallelus

True Bugs (2)
Cuckoo-Spit Insect – Philaenus spumarius
Deraeocoris ruber

Flies (1)
Four-barred Major – Oxycera rara

Hoverflies (7)
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis tenax
Helophilus pendulus
Scaeva pyrastri
Syrphus
Xylota segnis

Mammals (1)
Stoat – Mustela erminea