Beetle Drive

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 2 April 2011 16:15

I showed Jo and her Mum around Woods Mill today and we went a walk along the edge of the new river. I spotted this beetle crawling along on the sides of the river and it turned out to be one I have not seen before, Poecilus cupreus. You can just about see the punctures on the head  of cupreus in the photo that help distinguish it from Poecilus versicolor but the other features are microscopic (apart from being bigger). I think they are both fairly abundant. As I am slowly piecing together a reference collection I am really starting to see the benefits of it. I do feel like I am having to concentrate most of my  natural history efforts on beetles though. It's great to be able to add 50 species in two months without really going very far, I think on my mission to get to 4000, I will have added very few (if indeed any) birds to my list as twitching is time-consuming, expensive and potentially unproductive!

Not thirty metres from my office, I noticed this gall on a Bramble and decided to key it out which was  actually very easy. It's caused by a gall wasp called Diastrophus rubi, the holes are emergence holes of the adult wasps. All-in-all I added a surprising five species to my list today, I still have not seen a Swallow yet though although we did see a large Grass Snake in the leat.

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