A thirst for Sussex

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 10 January 2014 21:52

This is Pissodes pini, a beetle that I collected during a survey at Old Lodge last year in April, it wasn't until this week that I was informed it was actually a first for Sussex! I very nearly over looked it in among the larger Pine Weevils Hylopbius abietis. Like the Pine Weevil, it's found on dead and decaying pines but is usually more of a northern species. That's not the only county first I have had confirmed this week though.

This is Acidota crenata. A staph that I found on one of the turf-stripped areas at Iping Common in September. 
Again this is thought of as a more northern and possibly even alpine species. So why was it found on bare ground on one of the hottest heathlands in the south?!

I have had a third species new to Sussex confirmed this week in the form of a small snail called Balea heydeni I found under Elder bark at Seaford Head back in October, if you look at this post too you will realise just how fortunate it was for me to be in the wrong place at the right time. I didn't get a photo of that one though. So with Stenus palustris new to Sussex from Filsham Reedbed, where it is abundant and the naturalised ground bug Nysius hutoni we found at the Crumbles in vast numbers in July means I had five species new to Sussex in 2013. Four of these on sites managed by the Trust!

Now a thing I realised the other day about firsts for Sussex is that they are more significant than most county firsts because we have TWO counties!

After an hour and a half of sieving clumps of moss at Ditchling Beacon today I managed to find eight new species, including a few really unusual species but that will have to wait for another day...

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