Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 1 October 2013 11:27
I last updated my list on the 27th April 2013. Despite doing most of my natural history at work this year, I have added quite a few in this time, 283 species to be precise. Beetles continue to be the biggest grower with 71 new species, closely followed by spiders at 51. I split arachnids into spiders and harvestmen, so now my next spider will be my 200th spider! The third group which showed the highest increase this summer amazingly was fish! I added 24 new species this year, a 60% increase in this group for me.
I've seen so many good things this year but have had very little time to show them. Here are a few that never made a blog post of their own! First up is a male Araneus marmoreus we found at Old Lodge in September.
I also caught up with one of my most coveted species, the ant mimic jumping spider Myrmarachne formicaria. Yes, this IS a spider. This was at the Crumbles near Eastbourne in July.
Also at the Crumbles I recorded a species new to Sussex, albeit a naturalised one. The small ground bug Nysius huttoni.
I had no idea that Cat-mint was a native and vulnerable arable weed. I had to do a 50 mile double take for this one.
New longhorn beetles are always a welcome addition to my list. I've encountered Arhopalus rusticus twice this year, this one was at Old Lodge.
I finally caught up with Red Hemp-nettle over at Rye Harbour.
And I've been enjoying getting to grips with coastal invertebrates too including this Liocarcinus holsatus from Rye Harbour last week. I'll resist showing you anymore photos of fish!
Here is the break down:
|Vascular plants||1206 (+20)|
|True bugs||129 (+21)|
|True flies||123 (+17)|
|Crickets & grasshoppers||25 (+6)|
|Lacewings & allies||7 (+1)|
|Seaweeds & algae||7|
|Sea Urchin||1 (+1)|
So, 283 species later my list currently stands at 4505 species. However, the big change this year for me has been beginning the long process of databasing all of 25 years of natural history recording. I posted about this sometime ago but it took me a whole to get going. It's a long process but a hugely rewarding one and I might have only scratched the surface but it's changing the way I do natural history. My approach is that I will never allow current records to develop into a backlog and this is working. Perhaps half of the 7129 records I have put in this year are casual records from this year alone. So my casual records for the last five years are up to date. I now have to concentrate on surveys and older records. I am currently working on the RSPB years, 2007 to be precise but it does get increasingly 'birdy' the further I go back. It's quite nice delving back through 25 years of records, if a little daunting.
So here is my overview of the records at the Sussex level. You can see the Trust reserves as dense clusters.
And a close up of Brighton & Hove. You can see clusters of records at Woods Mill, Ditchling Beacon, Malling, Southerham as well as Seaford Head and the Eastbourne Downs. I would encourage anyone with more than a passing interest to go down this road and the quicker you do it, the better. I just wish I had started years ago.