Guardians of the Taxonomy

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 4 August 2014 18:59

This weekend was the third 'official' PSL field meeting, and a great weekend it was. This time Jonathon Newman was the organiser and the site was Woodwalton Fen in Cambridgeshire. I've managed to process ALL of my identifications and get ALL of my records onto Recorder already so I am feeling rather pleased with myself, if a little exhausted.

The weather was pretty poor on the Saturday but we did still manage a couple of stonking beetles. The site manager had told us of the recent discovery of Tansy Beetle Chrysolina graminis (a very scarce priority species). Have a look here for Buglife's write up on the species. At Woodwalton it's not feeding on Tansy, rather on Water Mint.

I saw my second ever Musk Beetle Aromia moschata, which was even more impressive than I remember. The last one I saw flew over our heads in Lakenheath car park back in 2004. This is a huge beetle!

All in all I have added 27 new species including this larvae, which I am pretty sure is the larvae of the scarce sawfly Cimbex connatus, the first thing I found on the day!

I wonder where the next event will be and who will host it? These are great opportunities to meet like-minded naturalists and learn from those around you but attendance was surprisingly low, with only 12 people maximum. I hope next year there will be even more people! A massive thank you to Jonathon for organising the event, having arranged the first one back in 2012, I know that these things take up a lot more of your time than you would think. It was really well organised and I was pleased to relax and not feel like I was at work (even though I relentlessly surveyed all weekend and got a lot of people a lot of new species). That's what this is all about though, helping those further down the rankings, even if it means everyone is closing in on me. All I want from PSL is to be a better naturalist, help make lots of other competent naturalists and have a bloody good laugh along the way! So far so good I say!!!

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