Invertebrate news 2019
Insect and Arachnid related news from around Nottinghamshire
A rare winter record of Pogonocherus hispidus and possibly the first Nottinghamshire record of the Coccinellid Rhyzobius lophanthae
Using a beating tray to look for Longhorn beetles in January is something we had never thought of doing before. But after reading of Wil Heeney's finding of two Pogonocherus spp by beating Ivy (Hedera helix) on Facebook recently, we made a casual stop at Lambley Cemetery on January 8th, to try our luck.

We found nothing on the few conifers there, but then struck it lucky when a torpid Pogonocherus hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758) dropped onto the sheet. After potting it up, we noticed a very small, dark Coccinellid sp. Taking both home for photographing, the Coccinellid looked like Rhyzobius lophanthae, which we thought would be a likely first for the county, after looking at the NBN Atlas.

Checks with other local coleopterists followed and the poor original photographs were sent to Simon Robson for possible confirmation, before being passed to Richard Comont who confirmed our original identification.

Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell, 1892) is originally of Australian origin, with the length of the one illustrated being no more than 2.5mm. With a number of records across much of the south of the country, this was a surprise find and is thought the first record for Nottinghamshire.
Dicyphus escalerae adults still active into the New Year

Probably as a direct consequence of the continued mild Winter weather, adults of the Mirid Bug Dicyphus escalerae (Lindberg, 1934) are still present on Antirrhinum majus growing in a Mapperley garden, with at least four adults found on January 8th.

Known from the UK since 2007 and found new to Nottinghamshire at the same Mapperley site in 2018, it seems that adults (and probably nymphs of all stages) are able to remain active throughout the colder months, unless severe frosts occur. This species is probably now quite common in many gardens across the county and is almost certainly much under-recorded.

An early July peak for Glow Worm numbers at Clipstone Old Quarter in 2018

Data resulting from Glow Worm surveys at Clipstone Old Quarter (Sherwood Forest) during the course of 2018, showed a clear peak in female numbers between July 5th and 9th.

University students Graham Smith and Harry Huntingdon who conducted the surveys, reported peak counts of 76 females on July 5th, 83 on July 7th and 80 on July 9th. To have three successive high counts over a six day period is unusual and usually indicative of low numbers of males around at the time.

Graham and Harry's Clipstone Old Quarter data is enough to make some brief comparison with our own 2018 survey data, from two other local sites at Sherwood Heath SSSI (which had counts of well over 200 females in 2008) and a section of heathland at the RSPB's reserve at Budby South Forest. We visited both sites regularly during the season and recorded a slightly earlier peak in numbers from both Sherwood Heath and Budby SF. Our highest count for Sherwood Heath was of 61 females on July 1st, which coincided with a small peak in numbers of 12 females at Budby SF the same night. Graham and Harry did not survey Clipstone Old Quarter between June 30th and July 3rd, but there was nothing in the numbers recorded before or after these dates, to suggest high numbers had been missed.