I've waited decades to see one of these!!!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 2 April 2016 19:00

Here is the AMAZING Mesosa nebulosa that I saw today on the British Myriapod and Isopod Group recording weekend. A big, stunning and quite beautiful longhorn beetle, my 36th longhorn to be precise (new ones don't come along often these days). An RDB3 species I have been on the look out for for years to no avail. I thought I might find it at Ebernoe or in the West Weald but it was actually in Sheffield Park in East Sussex. However, I didn't find it. This fella did...
This is Nathan Clements (with his dad Kevin in the background). I tagged along with these guys from the Midlands along with Keith Lugg and Steve Gregory. I was learning an immense amount about myriapods and isopods from them all and have seen loads of species but today I'm just gonna blog about the beetles and spiders we found. Anyway, we were by the edge of a lake and hadn't seen much other than the bizarre find of a tiny (yet distinctive) immature Atypus affinis which I beat from an isolated tussock-sedge, quite not what I was expecting but I was chuffed to get Keith this species knowing he had gone a long way to look for it recently but didn't connect. Then, Nathan shouted "Urgh, what's this!"

He came over and handed me a small log with a face and a couple of legs peering out of a hole. I recognised it instantly from a photo in a book that I was captivated by as a child. Here is the photo from the Shire Natural History series on longhorns by Norman Hickin from 1987.

And here is my attempt to replicate the photo. It's kind of weird that it's in such a similar position as I hadn't looked at this book for years. Also, I took loads from the front from many different angles and this was the only one that came out. Anyway. I photographed this beetle a LOT. So here is the best...

It was such an obliging beetle too. So, even though we were really out identifying and recording millipedes, centipedes and woodlice, this was the highlight for me and goes to show how great the PSL approach to natural history is, it was a totally unexpected find. To connect with something you've wanted to see for years is great and for it be found by a twelve year old is just brilliant too. Thanks very much Nathan for a fantastic find and for making my weekend, keep up the good work! Another post on the myriapods and isopods will follow...

3 Response to "I've waited decades to see one of these!!!"

Steve Gale Says:

Well chuffed for you Graeme!

Steven Teale Says:

That's an awesome addition to your PSL - a beauty! Nice one.

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