Vertigo antivertigo

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 23 March 2013 16:36

Must be one of the best names in natural history and I found a couple of these tiny snails on Thursday at Filsham Reedbed. Alice and I have started an invertebrate survey there to inform management and I was pleasantly surprised to have recorded 53 species on a cold day in March! That's just the species I could identify quickly. We have adopted the 'timed-count' methodology which has been so useful at other sites. Sieving was the main method we were using this time though rather than beating or sweeping and it was really productive! 

So far I have identified 23 beetles, 8 snails, 8 bugs, 7 spiders, 2 leeches, one moth and earwig. Eleven of these were new to me but the species I was perhaps most pleased to see was this tiny snail, Vertigo antivertigo. At 1.5 mm long, it would have been really easy to overlook it. I did manage to 'ping' one specimen with my forceps as I was trying to count the teeth!

Other highlights included three nationally scarce carabids; Demetrias imperialis, Odacantha melanura and Pterostichus anthracinus. I managed to identify a couple of female money spiders too, including the oddly patterned Lophomma punctata. This survey will carry on until the September or October and is the first completely in-house invertebrate survey we have carried out at the Trust. I expect we will get quite a list and learn lots about the site. Also heard my first Bearded Tit at Filsham. My list stands at 4192 species.

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