Tranmire Bog & Cropton Forest – 15/08/2014

Headed over the border in to the depths of North Yorkshire to visit Tranmire Bog and Cropton Forest Ponds. The weather was mediocre with a stiff northerly blowing providing difficult conditions at Tranmire Bog, with the wind coming straight off Wheeldale Moor. Key target here was Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, however none were found. Only a single female Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and a couple of Golden-ringed Dragonflies Cordulegaster boltonii were found. A few other invertebrates of note included a stunning Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia larvae, Bog Hoverfly Sericomyia silentis, Spiked Shieldbug Picromerus bidens and a pair of mating Small Heaths Coenonympha pamphilus.

Common Hawker - Aeshna junceaCommon Hawker – Aeshna juncea

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Cordulegaster boltoniiGolden-ringed Dragonfly – Cordulegaster boltonii

1643 Emperor Moth - Saturnia pavonia1643 Emperor Moth – Saturnia pavonia

Small Heath - Coenonympha pamphilusSmall Heath – Coenonympha pamphilus

Sericomyia silentisSericomyia silentis

Spiked Shieldbug - Picromerus bidensSpiked Shieldbug – Picromerus biden

A short distance away, a series of small ponds can be found in Cropton Forest. It was a little more sheltered at this location so more species were active. Several Black Darters Sympetrum danae were just emerging and making their maiden flight. A few exuvia were found, a great way of proving that they had emerged from this site. Whilst searching for the Black Darter S. danae exuvia, one from a hawker species was found, this being from a Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea. This was quite apt, as a male had been paying me close attention whilst I had been searching through the Juncus. A single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was over the pond, with several pairs of Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa ovipositing into the Juncus. A single Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum was the last of the odonata species recorded.

Several Peacocks Inachis io were trying their best to get a sunny patch to warm up, along with a single Comma Polygonia c-album and Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris. Lastly a new beetle species for me was Red-breasted Carrion Beetle Oiceoptoma thoracicum, unfortunately not on the most pleasant of backgrounds!

Red-breasted Carrion Beetle - Oiceoptoma thoracicumRed-breasted Carrion Beetle – Oiceoptoma thoracicum

Peacock - Inachis ioPeacock – Inachis io

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Small Skipper -  Thymelicus sylvestrisSmall Skipper –  Thymelicus sylvestris