Lots ‘moor’ goodies

Readers of this blog will know that the habitats on Thorne & Hatfield Moors are pretty special and that they have on ocassions delivered some pretty amazing finds.  Well here we are again …. Streptanus okaensis, a tiny leafhopper a first for the UK!  That’s another first for the UK from Thorne!  I remember another back in 1975 when Bembidion humerale was discovered, it’s subsequently been named the Thorne Moors beetle.

This latest discovery all came about when Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum undertook an invertebrate survey in 2012 on a piece of remnant lagg fen on the periphery of Thorne Moors SSSI.  For 30 weeks we regularly trekked the site retrieving material from a series of traps, resetting them and then when I returned home sorting the material for dispatch to specialists.  The highlight of the survey is a tiny leafhopper new to the UK, Streptanus okaensis.  ok it’s another one of those tiny jobs, it needs to be viewed with a hand lens and through a miscroscope it is exquisite!  Other hemiptera highlights included a first for Yorkshire Streptanus aemulans in addition to two other Nationally Notable B species.

To date, from this survey of a relatively small area, some 321 different species of beetles have been identified and which include a good number of Red Data (Nationally rare) species, particularly amongst the water beetle assemblage.  Seventy four species of spiders, 41 species of bugs, 70 species of hymenoptera (ants, wasps, bees and their relatives), 25 species of millipedes, centipedes and harvestmen, 16 species of snail including a Red Data Book species in good numbers!  One evening’s moth-ing session yielded a list of 162 species!  Clearly an exceptional site and there is still work ongoing looking at and determining the myriad number of flies we found!  Key findings from this project were presented at a Seminar in September and in due course the survey will be published by the Forum.

So, Thorne Moors are still special despite the corporate carnage of yesteryear and they are still capable of delivering some amazing finds.

If you are new to the blog or you’ve not experienced the magic of these wild landscapes then get out there before it’s too late.  Who knows what you might find?

 

Dytiscus marginalis

 

Throw aside your cares for a day, get out there and reconnect with nature.  That casual walk of exploration will become a regular requirement, your senses will awake to new delights and fresh finds.

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