World's smallest tsunami

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 8 November 2013 19:55

Another flash flood occurred at Woods Mill on Monday and have learnt through observation where vast amounts of flood debris gathers there. A field gate sits right in the middle of the debris zone, well in fact most of the flood debris is captured by the fence. In the small gap between the gate and the gate post, large numbers of invertebrates gather for a short time there before dispersing. I have found that if there are invertebrates there, then there are even more in the surrounding litter but I was amazed at how many were there this time. I spent about 30 minutes sieving and gathering specimens. In no particular order, here is the list so far, those in bold are new for me.

Beetles

Nebria brevicollis                      5
Poecilus cupreus                       1
Clivina fossor                           1
Pterostichus diligens                 3
Philonthus cognatus                 2
Agriotes lineatus                       2
Bembidion obtusum                7
Amara communis                     2
Amara lunicollis                      5
Cassida rubiginosa                    1
Stenus bimaculatus                    1
Quedius levicollis                       1
Psammoecus bipunctatus          1
Notiophilus biguttatus               2
Bembidion properans                 2
Rugilus erichsoni                     1 (male gen det)
Megasternum conccinum         1
Stenus ossium                           1 (male gen det)
Lathrobium longulum             1 (male gen det)
Philonthus carbonarius            10 (2 males gen det)
Philonthus cruenatus                1
Quedius semiobscurus               1
Philonthus albipes                   1

Spiders

Centromerita bicolor               3 (males gen det)
Pachygnatha degeeri                Many
Pachygnatha clercki                 1
Walckenaeria acuminata          1 female

None of the 8 beetles new to me could be considered scarce but I find it amazing that only a few metres from my office I can find so many new species with so little effort. I mean, my beetle list currently stands at 636 species and I work this site regularly. I think this shows two things. One is that 636 is only about 13.5% of the UK fauna, I'm still only scratching the surface. The other is that flood debris is a great way of finding invertebrates from a whole portion of a catchment in one small area. I'll be going back after the next flood!

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