True (Nature) Detective

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 21 April 2014 16:28

Before you read this post, you HAVE to listen to this. An amazing song for an amazing TV show, that has absolutely nothing to do with wildlife other than that Rachael bought me two albums by the Handsome Family for my birthday and it has become the soundtrack to my journeys around Sussex. Hell, it's become the soundtrack to my life!

Back to the random photo of a pine cone on my mantel piece (that's not a euphemism).  Last Friday, Tony Davis and I called in to Canford Heath in Dorset to look for a rare micro moth. We failed to find it. I did see a fallen pine tree with plenty of green needles low enough to beat so I thought I would give it a quick go. It was well worth it producing three ticks for both Tony and I! The first being the tree itself. It was of course a Maritime Pine which I have never knowingly seen before.

The first thing I spotted on the tray was the Pine Cone Bug Gastrodes grossipes, I think new for Tony. A cool looking thing.

The second thing I saw was this cracking Cream-streaked Ladybird. I have not seen this before so was well chuffed by this impressive ladybird.

Then I noticed a cracking Ampedus sanguinolentus, a Na click beetle that I see annually on the heaths of Sussex. It ran away before Tony got a photo. It's a striking beetle.

Finally Tony spotted this weevil, which I had no idea what it was at first. It's a saproxylic species called Pissodes castaneus. This really illustrates a point: an isolated pine tree on a heathland is always worth a closer look. It pretty much always comes up with something good! Especially when you can reach the branches.

2 Response to "True (Nature) Detective"

Billy Dykes Says:

What was the rare micro moth you were after, if you don't mind me asking?

Amanda Peters Says:

Would like to see a Cream-streaked ladybird. How do you go about getting the bugs out of a tree( sorry if it is a daft question) do you use a large white sheet or a tray ? Then do you just tap or shake the tree, I don't want to harm the insects. You need to do a post on how to start looking for bugs for beginners ?

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