Posts Tagged ‘Auchenorrhyncha’

Lest we forget the evidence?

May 27, 2016

Amidst the mayhem of ‘Brexit’ claim and counter claim and the call, nay plea for science, facts and evidence a group of us spent a pleasurable day learning about Auchenorrhyncha the other day.  An introduction in a classroom type setting, a field session at a nearby peat / fen land SSSI then back to the microscopes.

Some forty species of Hemiptera were recorded including uncommon species and species local to the Humberhead Levels.

As anticipated entomologists are often interested in more than one discipline so other taxon were recorded including odonata with an early Brachytron pratense being observed on Hawthorn blossom.

In terms of a biodiversity site inventory,  we are building one up steadily with a good amount of very useful data.  The site is certainly a promising one and we hope to undertake a mothing session soon  and given the different habitat types present there is clearly potential for interesting species to be discovered from the site.

Dolycoris baccarum 160520 HGF mh

 Dolycoris baccarum.  The excellent British Bugs website offers a vernacular of Hairy Shieldbug, whilst other sources offer that of the Sloe Bug.

Zicrona caerulea 160520 HGF mh

Zircrona caerulea aka ‘Blue Shieldbug’, the metallic hue on this specimen appears to favour green?

The work ongoing on this wetland site of considerable nature conservation interest is such that it has received funding for implementation of a Water Level Management Plan. Further to, this raises the issue of survey and monitoring pre and post implementation?  Failure in either aspect raises the issue of evidencing value and impact of works?  All too often in our opinion is the dash to spend the cash on engineering projects without first understanding or appreciating the assemblages present and their importance in national, regional or a local context.

Other survey work is ongoing on the periphery of Thorne Moors SSSI, again this work relates to fen habitat and species.

Cocksfoot moth19052016

The danger or risk of using a vernacular or common name for a species is illustrated above by the Cocksfoot Moth nectaring on cardamine!  To give it its scientific name of Glyphipterix simpliciella (Stephens) ensures that anyone in any country in the world is able to understand what species is being discussed.

R punctatus  S&CF 160523 hrk 470 b

Another species slightly off piece is Rhacognathus punctatus, or the Heather Shieldbug.  This specimen was swept from an area of fen, some distance from any calluna so the moral of the story is perhaps twofold?  Common names can risk confusion and invertebrates don’t read books ….

Images: Dolycoris baccarum, Zircona caerula and Glyphipterix simpliciella courtesy of Martin Warne, Rhacognathus punctatus H R Kirk.

Thanks also to Jim Flanagan and Stuart Foster for their excellent tuition and involvement with the workshop and field work which thus far has seen forty species logged, impressive for an afternoon ‘bug hunt’?


Who started the drainage?

February 24, 2016

Common Lizard Crowle Moor 24.2.16

Adders on Thorne and Hatfield Moors on 10 February, now Common Lizard has been ‘turned over’ on Crowle Moors.  Image: Phil Lee.

Advance notification of some events for your diaries?

Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum’s Annual Meeting

Friday 1 April 2015

Indoor presentations on recent research work followed by a visit to Thorne Moors in the afternoon.

“Bog birds and bugs” by Lucy Ryan (York University) a masters student working on monitoring of the nightjar populations at Thorne and Hatfield Moors SSSI further to the implementation of the LIFE+ Project* managements works.

Dr Paul Buckland “Who started the drainage?  Iron Age & Roman Landscapes in the Humberhead Levels”.

Anyone interested in attending the above presentations, which are open to the public should contact the

*Please note that the Forum is not aware of any monitoring work ongoing or planned which will look at the impact of the implementation of the Thorne Moors Water Level Management Plan by Doncaster East IDB and its management service providers JBA Consulting


20 May 2016  An introduction to  Auchenorrhyncha identification.

We are delighted to welcome back Jim Flanagan who will be the tutor for the second of our ‘bugs / hoppers’ identification workshops.  Places are limited and are rapidly being filled.  The first part will be an introduction to the Auchenorrhyncha  (leafhoppers, planthoppers, froghoppers, treehoppers & cicadas), the second part will involve a field trip and then a microscope session.  More details are available from


9 & 10 September 2016  Raptors, Uplands & Peatlands: Conservation, Land Management & Issues promises to be an excellent couple of days of presentations and a site visit.

This event is being organised by BaLHRI / BRG UKEconet and will be held at Sheffield Showroom & Workstation and further details are available via and as a pdf

Raptors First Call November 2016 flier

The booking form can also be downloaded here and includes ‘early bird’ booking discounts.

Raptors booking form 9-10 Sept 2016 (ebd)

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Mark Avery

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I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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