Skipwith Common – 23/04/2019

A mainly overcast day, with thinning cloud as the day progressed. A gentle easterly breeze with temperature peaking at 16 degrees C.

A good day hunting inverts around the bomb bays and heath to the north, with several new species recorded, along with several first for the year (NFY). Five beetles recorded with good numbers of Common Leaf Weevil Phyllobius pyri present on the Birch scrub. Heather Beetle Lochmaea suturalis was numerous on the heath. The following were all NFY and found as singles; Dalopius cf. marginatus, Polydrusus cervinus and Megatoma undata, the latter found on the gate posts to the heathland. Butterfly-wise Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines, Peacock Aglais io and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria were all on the wing. Several species of Mining Bees were on the mounds of earth along the Bomb Bays with Clarke’s Mining Bee Andrena clarkella (NFY), Grey Mining Bee Andrena cineraria (NFY) and Sandpit Blood Bee Sphecodes pellucidus (NEW) all noted. Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius and Vestal Cuckoo Bee Bombus vestalis the only other Hymenoptera noted. On the moth front Common Heath Ematurga atomaria (NFY) seen in small numbers, along with a couple of Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella (NFY). The following four species were all new, being associated with heathland or Gorse; Heather Groundling Neofaculta ericetella, Dark Gorse Piercer Grapholita internana, Feathered Bright Incurvaria masculella and Gorse Case-bearer Coleophora albicosta. A nice selection of True Bugs observed with Trapezonotus arenarius and Ulopa reticulata both new, and Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum (NFY). Other species noted included Birch Catkin Bug Kleidocerys resedae, Common Damselbug Nabis rugosus, Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus and Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina. An interesting fly species found was a Snakeshead Fly Xanthostigma xanthostigma (NEW), usually a species found around the tree tops. Another new species was the first Robberfly of the year Spring Heath Robberfly Lasiopogon cinctus. Bee Fly Bombylius major were present in good numbers, several females observed depositing eggs into the Mining Bee nests. Finally several Common Ground-hopper Tetrix undulata were on the heath.