Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 4 April 2016 21:04
What a weekend! What a line up. It's been a long time since I invested in some training, this weekend being the British Myriapod and Isopod Group's recording event in the south east. I couldn't miss it and a big thanks to Paul Lee for organising. Now, I've already blogged about the beetle highlight for me being the second record for Sussex of Mesosa nebulosa. So here I am gonna talk about myriapods and isopods.
Myriapods predominantly include the millipedes and centipedes. Here is a huge, greenish, rapidly-tapering centipede we found in a compost heap at Wisley RHS. This is Henia vesuviana. Even though I saw more millipedes, it was the centipedes I was more into, as many of them were identifiable in the field.
Such as this one that is often found under pine bark being Geophilus carpophagus.
There are around 60 species and there is a good key by FSC. Now, I saw lot of millipedes but didn't manage a photo beyond a blurred shot of the species we came to know as 'Millipede X' (no one was sure what this was exactly - you see we have quite a few alien species). There are about 60 species of these too but new alien synathropic species are being discovered so I can't be sure on this. You can find out more about identifying myriapods and isopods here. I learnt a great way to tell Tachypoidulus niger in the field and how easy it is to see and adult male
in the field.
Now thanks to Steve Gregory I saw two new woodlice (Trichoniscoides albidus & Ligidium hypnorum) but photographed neither. There are around 40 species with only relatively few very common ones. This is Porcellionides cingendus. I see it now and again (including today in the suction sampler) in rush litter at Woods Mill.
I also had a few other interesting species, such as this Green Celar Slug Limacus maculatus. Although due to its camo-pattern, I refer Combat or Battle Slug.
And good old Staphylinus dimidiaticornis put in a show too.
A massive thank you to all the people who helped but particularly Paul Lee, Steve Gregory and Keith Lugg. I've already put into practice what I learned and I'm looking forward to finding some more myriapods and isopods sometime soon! I have three fairly common woodlice on my wish list to look out for now too...