Gotta catch 'em all

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 21 July 2016 07:04

Jessica: "(Uncle Graeme) do you have Pokemon Go?"
Graeme: "My whole life's Pokemon Go!"

Above is the weedle, sorry weevil, Mogulones geographicus. It's a Nb species associated with Viper's Bugloss. I've only seen it once before in the Brecks so was very pleased to see it on three of the five recording areas on a repeat invertebrate survey of Friston Forest. Other highlights included Beautiful Carpet, Nemophora cupriacella and the tiny cuckoo-bee Nomada sheppardana.

The weevil was very obliging and I managed to get lots of photos of the striking little beast and thank to posting the above photo on facebook, I might have helped someone secure this as a first for West Sussex too! But before I show you some more pictures, what about this Pokemon Go business? Well it's parallels with Pan-species Listing are clear but the difference is that Pokemon Go only benefits the users, while PSL has benefits to wildlife and the wider recording community. However, I've seen a lot of negativity towards people who are essentially going outside enjoying themselves with a hand-held computer. Firstly, it's people who probably wouldn't go to those places getting out and about exploring, keeping fit and having a laugh. It's not likely taking naturalists away from their hobby (if that has happened anywhere then I would be very sorry about that). Wait, news just in: Jonty Denton has quit naturalist history and is now the UK's Pokemon Go champion.

So what's the problem? It's amazing how something in a week or so has gathered more active users than Twitter. I'm sure it will just be a fad but I won't be discouraging anyone from getting out in the field recording (fictitious) creatures. You never know, they might even find some real wildlife on the way (I've seen reports of this happening already on social media). Yet there is one negative side to this. I have a very thick skin when it comes to stopping anywhere to grab hold of bugs in odd places where people are watching, I've had some very good ticks this way and I'll never stop. But yesterday walking back to the Southerham office I stopped to photograph a butterfly with my phone and as there was an audience in the form of crawling traffic, I suddenly thought:

"Oh no, what if they all think I'm playing Pokemon Go?" For a second, a split second, I was self-conscious and then it passed and I carried on doing what I''ll always do. So it seems the only negative aspect I can see is mostly based upon the negativity towards the game, not the game itself.

Anyway, here are some more shots of this most glorious of weevils.

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