Allerthorpe Common – 18/04/2019

An afternoon visit with a moderate easterly breeze blowing, temperature peaking at 17 degrees C.

Bit of a shock to find around half of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve destroyed by fire, including the area around the main pond in the centre of the site. Compared to the morning visit to Pocklington Canal, where the vegetation is lush with new growth, the heathland was bone dry, with very little sign of any new plant growth. Highlight of this visit was finding a new Ladybird species too add to my growing list. Hieroglyphic Ladybird Coccinella hieroglyphica was found on the heather, three individuals found. Other beetles recorded included Cabbage Stem Weevil Ceutorhynchus pallidactylus, Common Leaf Weevil Phyllobius pyri, Gorse Weevil Exapion ulicis, Green Tiger Beetle Cicindela campestris, Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis, Heather Weevil Neliocarus sus and Andrion regensteinense. Five species of butterfly on the wing with plenty of Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni and Peacock Aglais io present, with one or two Green-veined White Pieris napi, Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines and Speckled Wood Parargeaegeria tircis also noted. A few Heath Rustic Xestia agathina caterpillars were found on the heathland. Another nice find on the Heath was Heather Shieldbug Rhacognathus punctatus, two individuals found. Other True Bugs included Birch Catkin Bug Kleidocerys resedae, Common Damselbug Nabis rugosus and Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus.