Posts Tagged ‘york’

Nature in the raw – active invertebrates

July 4, 2013
Libellula quadrimaculata oblivious to observation as it tucks in to a hearty lunch!

Libellula quadrimaculata oblivious to observation as it tucks in to a hearty lunch!

The Four-spotted Chaser above, photographed on Crowle Moors recently appeared unconcerned by the attention of admirers as it settled to feed on the Large Red Damselfly it had caught for its lunch.  For more information on dragonfly and damselfly identification and ecology visit the British Dragonfly Society website. 

With the advent of pocket size digital cameras with decent macro options, images are easily obtained and then in many cases identifications can be made from them.  Thanks to all contributors for sharing their finds and adding to the data held on the biodiversity to be found on the Humberhead Levels, particularly Thorne and Hatfield Moors.

Rhagium bifasciatum 504


The three images on today’s post have been sent in by Matt Blisset (Lincolnshire WT).  The two here are of the common longhorn beetle, Rhagium bifasciatum and all are excellent examples of opportunistic recording.  The longhorn beetles are vegetarian in their diet and as such not always popular with foresters.  Their larvae are a food source for woodpeckers who will break open decaying timber to extract them.  In late spring and early summer adults can be observed feeding on pollen so keep an eye on hawthorn, dogwood and hogweed flowers.


Rhagium bifisciatum 516


The one thing that is certain about Thorne and Hatfield Moors is that things are certainly unpredictable. The sites are recognised as being exceptional for the diversity of species to be found by anyone with any degree of patience and observational skill. Rewards there are a plenty, recent blog posts atest to that.

A good website Cerambycidae which will help with identification can be found here.  Another site with excellent images can also be found here.  Happy hunting and let us know what you find.

Remember also that if you’re in York this Sunday come and meet us at the Royal Entomological Society Insect Festival in the Yorkshire Museum Hospitium and Gardens.


Come and meet us this Sunday at the RES Insect Festival in York

July 2, 2013

The Royal Entomological Society are holding their biennial Insect Festival this coming Sunday, 7 July at the Yorkshire Museum Gardens and Hospitium (YO30 7DR).  This popular event opens to the public at 10am and runs until 4pm.  This is the third IF and it will be the Forum’s third attendance, no mean feat for an organisation run entirely by volunteers!

So, please do come along and meet us, grab a bargain (mention reading about the offer on the blog and get a copy of An Inventory of the Invertebrates of Thorne & Hatfield Moors plus the essential accompanyment the Index for a mere £5).

Luke Tilley one of the co-organisers along with Julie North have asked us to bring to readers attention also their invitation to

An Evening of Entomology on Saturday 6th July 19.30 – 21.30

Tempest Anderson Hall, Yorkshire Museum

Public talk – Dr Jim Miller (American Museum of Natural History) will talk about the evolution of a fascinating group of tropical moths. Dr Miller is the winner of the J.O. Westwood Medal for excellence in insect taxonomy, awarded by the Royal Entomological Society and Natural History Museum.

Short films – A collection of short films will be shown about some wonderful insects, including beetles, fleas and garden insects.

Insect Question Time – Any questions about insects? A panel of entomologists and scientists will take questions about insects. Why are there so many insect species? How many species do we have in the UK? Come along and bring your questions for the panel to discuss.

So, please do come and meet us, the IF is a great day for all the family and as you will see from the programme of events and organisations attending that there’s plenty for amateurs, professionals and families alike.

Entomological gems

June 18, 2013

Whilst not of the peatlands per se, the images show three species recently observed in the northern aspect of the Humberhead Levels.

The wonderfully iridescent Necklace Ground Beetle Carabus monilis  shown below is an aberrant specimen, compare the elytral markings on the two images (click on the images to enlarge).


130611 Carabus monilis tbc WF


The second image of the same species illustrates perfectly the metallic hue of the species as well as the indicative rows of granules seperated by three regular and equal-sized ridges on the elytra.




The beetle is a UK BAP Priority Species which JNCC consider to have declined due to the widespread use of pesticides, the shift from spring to autumn cultivation and habitat fragmentation may all have contributed to the species decline.


The much studied Chrysolina graminis or Tansy Beetle (below) aka the ‘Jewel of York’, featured here on the ubiquitous nettle is a delightful species whose ecology is not particularly well understood. It’s ecological requirements have yet to be fully understood in order to secure its future. It retains a precarious foothold along the Ouse floodplain where there are stands of Tansy alongside the riverbank and in old unimproved grasslands. Fortunately it is the subject of a long term and on going study and it can breed well in captivity.


130611 Chrysolina graminis WF hrk 400


This aptly named Rhinocerus Beetle Sinadendron cylindricus was found in deadwood.


130611 Sinodendron cylindricus WF 406


Images Martin Hammond & Helen Kirk.

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