Emergency stop entomology

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 2 June 2011 21:23

Driving along a major road in the New Forest this morning, I spotted a number of people on the road verge, I then saw a few nets so I decided to dive into a lay by and see if I could get any new species. Cheeky, yes, but it became a very useful chance encounter. Anyway, the surveyors were looking at New Forest Shield Bugs Eysacoris aeneus (RDB?) and this was certainly a new species for me. It was really good to chat about what is about and what is not and what's already gone over. It was interesting to hear someone say they have seen 25 species of longhorn beetle in the New Forest (I have seen one). Pretty impressive then to have recorded 18 species at Ebernoe alone I think. Anyway, I went on to Denny Wood where, as usual, rare beetles were landing on me throughout the day.

The first new species I saw was this amazing Tomoxia bucephela. This Na mordellid was distinctly different in the field to Variimorda villosa that I have seen a few times in Sussex. I later found another one when I lifted my binoculars to my eyes to find one in the eye cup!
We saw lots of Rose Chafers, I saw more today than I have seen in the rest of my life. Again, they always seem to try and land on my head!
Seconds after taking this shot, Jo shouted, 'what's that on your t-shirt?' and took this photo. It's the Na Oak Jewel Beetle Agrilus biguttatus. I have seen this only once before in Chiddingfold Forest. I later saw another but they are fast beetles!
The only Ampedus I found was missing a head and thorax, not sure what species this was.
I found Jo sitting next to this Adder, She had no idea it was there. She was quite unafraid of this venomous snake yet utterly terrified of the aging terrier (that could hardly run) that we encountered earlier.
Finally, I went to a different site and saw a couple of Scarlet Malachite Beetles. I have always wanted to see this cracking beetle (RDB3 and BAP I think). I struggled to get a decent photo though.
I am also pretty sure I saw Cantharis fusca on Hemlock Water-dropwort. I didn't realise that this was a rare species at the time as I would have tried to get a photo. I have been looking out for this species but for some reason I never feel inspired to photograph soldier beetles. Could I have mistaken this for just another C. rustica? The black spot was right at the front of the pronotum and the edges of the pronotum appeared more upturned.

I have found looking for beetles in the New Forest quite odd. I have seen only one longhorn beetle, Stictoleptura scutellata (I've seen three individuals). But no Wasp Beetles, no Rhagium mordax but also not a single cardinal beetle! The commonest native saproxylic beetle I have seen is Mycetochara humeralis which I have seen every day pretty much. Going back home tomorrow.

1 Response to "Emergency stop entomology"

Starsong Silversea Says:

That's some fantastic luck there. I've had some nice beetles in the New Forest but Denny Wood has always been completely barren and deserted for me, I've come back with zero species every time...The New Forest is a very difficult place to find anything though. That shield bug in particular has cost me hours and hours and I still haven't found it.

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