Invertebrate news 2019
Insect and Arachnid related news from around Nottinghamshire
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A second new Shieldbug for Nottinghamshire

Following hot on the heels of finding Nottinghamshire's first ever  Brassica Bug at Colwick CP, the same observer has struck again, this time finding Nottinghamshire's first Tortoise Bug at Gedling CP.

been expanding its northerly UK range for a number of years,  this was one species which we had predicted as being one of the most likely to arrive here a few weeks previously. Tortoise Bug Eurygaster testudinaria (Geoffroy, 1785)  reached neighbouring  Leicestershire in 2016, when recorded from Ketton Quarry (Nightingale, K.) and finally reached Nottinghamshire in May 2019, when Darren Matthews found and photographed this one at Gedling CP, around a week after finding Nottinghamshire's first Brassica Bug at nearby Colwick CP.

Its a classic example of how rewarding hours of fieldwork can be for an observer who puts in the time. Although Darren admitted that it literally landed in front of him, he still had to be there to witness it.
  Brassica Bug recorded at Colwick

After recent records from the neighbouring counties of Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, Brassica Bug Eurydema oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758) has finally been recorded in Nottinghamshire.

Brassica Bug had been spreading steadily north from southern counties of the UK for a number of years, but progress seemed to slow, following Leicestershire's first records in 2015 and Lincolnshire's first the following year. It seems to have had a good year in 2018, which possibly allowed further range expansion and was finally eventually recorded from Nottinghamshire on May 16th, when three adults were found by Darren Matthews, on Garlic Mustard at Colwick Racecourse.

The adults come in several colour forms, where the white markings can be replaced by either red or yellow and are found on a range of Brassicas including plants such as Garlic Mustard and Horse Radish. In view of the Colwick record, further reports from other sites in VC56 Nottinghamshire should soon follow.

A report of Bryony Ladybird from north Nottinghamshire

Among the latest invertebrate records posted to iRecord in the early part of this year, has been a record of Bryony Ladybird Henosepilachna argus (Geoffory in Fourcroy, 1762). As far as we know, this would indeed be a first for Nottinghamshire, but the record has yet to be validated and there seems to be no supporting photograph to back up the record from April this year.

The record concerns several adults, which were apparently swept from a stretch of grass and low vegetation containing White Bryony (Bryonia dioica), from Carlton-in-Lindrick north of Worksop. Bryony Ladybird is a non-native species, first reported from Oxfordshire in 1997. It spread (or arrived around the same time) into Surrey, but it has never expanded its UK range in the way a number of other non-native species have done in recent years. Bryony Ladybird is very much an urban species, so should be looked for wherever White Bryony grows. Even in the most unlikely of places.

Natural England invertebrate survey produces seven new species for the Sherwood Forest NNR 

An invertebrate survey of Sherwood Forest by Natural England's Field Unit in 2018, has revealed that both SSSI's making up the Sherwood Forest NNR are in favourable condition.

The survey was carried out between April and October 2018 using a mixture of vane traps, an Owen trap and targeted hand-searching following Webb and Hackman (2018).

Sherwood Forest is important for its saproxylic beetles (beetles relying on dead wood for at least part of their life-cycle) are a reportable feature, used for measuring the condition of both the SSSI's. The Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI generated 270 species records, with 30 of these being saproxylic beetles with conservation status. The survey at Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI, generated a total of 165 records with 20 saproxylic beetle species having conservation status. Both sites were determined to be in favourable condition.
Analysis of the results was undertaken using Pantheon, an online tool developed by Natural England and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. It provides a consistent and standardised approach to the assessment of the conservation importance of a sample or a site. Of the 270 species identified during surveys Pantheon held information for 241 of these species. 201 (74%) were beetles with the next largest group being flies with 23 species (8%). The remainder were bugs, moths, centipedes, hymenoptera, lacewing and molluscs. 115 species were associated with decaying wood of which 107 were saproxylic beetles. Among the new coleoptera recorded were the following species:

Mycetophagus quadriguttatus - found in vane traps on both SSSIs

Xyleborus saxeseni - found in a vane trap at Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI
Cicones variegatus - found in a vane trap at Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI
Haploglossa gentilis - recorded in two traps on both SSSIs
Cryptarcha undata (Notable b) - recorded at Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI in a vane trap
Leptusa pulchella - in a branch sample at Birklands and Bilhaugh
Velleius dilatatus (RDB1) - in a vane trap at Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI
  First time in Nottinghamshire for around 120 years - Blossom Underwing recorded at Attenborough NR

Reserve manager Tim Sexton was stunned when he found the county's first Blossom Underwing Orthosia miniosa ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775) in the trap at the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Attenborough NR on April 21st. 

Another early flying moth, Blossom Underwing has declined generally from many UK sites over the past number of years and many recent records are thought to refer to migrants from the continent. Tim's record is thought to be the first county record since the late 1800's.

It is attracted to MV light and like most other early Spring Noctuids, is especially fond of Sallow blossom. It seems highly unlikely that this moth has ever really been perminently resident in Nottinghamshire

White-marked in Nottinghamshire

Colin Watkin reports trapping and photographing a White-marked (Cerastis leucographa) from his garden at Rampton in north-east Nottinghamshire on April 5th.

White-marked is an extremely rare moth in Nottinghamshire and this is only the second modern county record, following two recorded at Sallow blossom in the Misterton area in March 2011 (Wood, N.).

Typically flying in March and April, this early flying species is known to occur in scattered woodland localities throughout the southern half of the UK and Wales. It is attracted to MV light and like most other early Spring Noctuids, is especially fond of Sallow blossom.

Photographs kindly supplied by Colin Watkin.

Box Bug at Attenborough again

Four years after Nottinghamshire's first record of Box Bug (Gonocerus acuteangulatus) from Attenborough NR in 2015, its finder Tim Sexton has continued to record it locally each year.

Tim's last record was in Autumn 2018, but the latest records have recently been reported by Darren Matthews from St Mary's Church at Attenborough, in early April of this year. There is obviously a well established population in the immediate area of both nature reserve and church, so it will be interesting to see how this species spreads through suburban Nottingham in the next few years.
Western Conifer Seed Bug at Lound

The first Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) record of the year, was reported to us via email recently.

Found by Ian Prince in the bathroom of his house at Lound near Retford, the record is very one of the most northerly recorded in Nottinghamshire to date, currently beaten only by one found at Beckingham in December 2014
(du Feu, C.).
Two recent spider records

Tim Sexton reports finding the diminutive, orange/red spider Oonops pulcher (Templeton, 1835) amongst the fungi King Alfred's Cakes at Attenborough Nature Reserve on March 4th.

Records away from its main stronghold of Sherwood Forest are extremely unusual and aside from a couple of Clumber Park records in 1996 (Faulds, T.) the spider is known only from the Idle Valley NR in 2000 (Williams, H.).

Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875) must be well established in Nottinghamshire and probably more widespread than records indicate. In late 2018, we found a large female (unusually) in a hollow underneath a paving slab at a house on Gretton Road.

On March 4th, a distinctive looking web in a conservatory, soon proved that the Noble False Widow is doing well, when a large female was enticed into the open. Despite the continued press reports to the contrary, S. nobilis is not liable to bite and presents no danger to the public.

A second Nottinghamshire site for the Mirid Bug Dicyphus escalerae

Tim Sexton reports finding Dicyphus escalerae, on Antirrhinum majus growing in his neighbour's garden at Attenborough on February 11th.  

Found in Nottinghamshire for the first time in 2018, when recorded from a garden at Mapperley, D. escalerae has been found to remain active throughout the year, based on a number of records we have had throughout the present Winter. It should be looked for wherever Antirrhinum majus is left to grow in gardens for a second or third successive year.
Broadholme moths increase the VC56 species list

The Nottinghamshire moth list looks set to increase by as many as 31 new species, following confirmation that the gardens of two houses at Broadholme, are in fact in VC56 Nottinghamshire.

Martin Gray the South Lincolnshire moth recorder, recently spent a great deal of time with Les Evans from Butterfly Conservation and it came to light that Martin's garden records had not been delegated to the correct VC. Martin's two gardens are actually in VC56 Nottinghamshire and not in VC53 South Lincolnshire. The list of potential additions is purely based on our own list of Nottinghamshire moths available on this website and which will be updated accordingly, to include the species listed below.

14.100 ... Ectoedemia minimella ... (Zetterstedt, 1839)
10.006 ... Coptotriche angusticollella ... (Duponchel, [1843])
12.035 ... Niditinea striolella ... (Matsummura, 1931)
17.007 ... Ypsolopha lucella ... (Fabricius, 1775)
32.006 ... Exaerata allisella ... Stainton, 1849
32.047 ... Depressaria chaerophylli ... Zeller, 1839
35.003 ... Syncopacma larseniella ... (Gozmany, 1957)
35.066 ... Monochroa tenebrella ... (Hübner, 1817)
35.097 ... Gelechia rhombella ... ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
37.007 ... Coleophora flavipennella ... (Duponchel, [1843])
37.050 ... Coleophora albidella ... ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
37.081 ... Coleophora therinella ... Tengström, 1848
37.084 ... Coleophora sternipennella ... (Zetterstedt, 1839)
37.104 ... Coleophora adspersella ... Benander, 1939
38.022 ... Elachista gleichenella ... (Fabricius, 1781)
38.046 ... Elachista albidella ... Nylander, [1848]
49.045 ... Eana osseana ... (Scopoli, 1763)
49.151 ... Apotomis capreana ... (Hübner, 1817)
49.196 ... Bactra lacteana ... Caradja, 1916
49.229 ... Epinotia caprana ... (Fabricius, 1798)
49.242 ... Epinotia nanana ... (Treitschke, 1835)
49.253 ... Epinotia fraternana ... (Haworth, 1811)
49.259 ... Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana ... (Ratzeburg, 1840)
49.339 ... Cydia servillana ... (Duponchel, 1836)
49.358 ... Grapholita tenebrosana ... (Duponchel, [1843])
63.002 ... Loxostege sticticalis ... (Linnaeus, 1761)
63.051 ... Antigastra catalaunalis ... (Duponchel, 1833)
70.056 ... Catarhoe cuculata Royal Mantle ... (Hufnagel, 1767)
70.186 ... Eupithecia millefoliata Yarrow Pug ... Rössler, 1866
73.003 ... Trichoplusia ni Ni Moth ... (Hübner, 1803)
73.297 ... Mythimna albipuncta White-point ... ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
Ectoedemia heringella found new Nottinghamshire

Among a number of lepidoptera records sent to us at the end of 2018, was a record of the leafmining moth Ectoedemia heringella (Mariani, 1839) discovered at Clifton Grove by Jerry Clough in March 2018, and is believed to be the first record for VC56 Nottinghamshire.

First discovered in Greater London as recently as 1996, its identity was not confirmed until 2001. Since then, it has spread throughout much of south-eastern England and has reached north Norfolk and now Nottinghamshire. We have failed in our attempts to look for it on a number of occasions over the past few years on Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex) growing in Nottingham Arboretum, Arnot Hill Park, Woodthorpe Park Southwell Minster and Newstead Abbey, but it is very likely to turn up at any of these locations in the coming years.

  Two new leaf/planthoppers from Attenborough

A mild start to the year has proved profitable for Tim Sexton at the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Attenborough NR, with probable first county records of the leafhoppers Acericerus heydenii and Issus coleoptratus.

Acericerus heydenii (Kirschbaum, 1868) is an attractive and fairly distinct species associated with Sycamore and was only discovered in the UK as recently as 2010.

Issus coleoptratus (Fabricius, 1781) was found by Tim overwintering in the nymph stage and there appears to be a record from just over the county border near Worksop, but none which we know of from VC56 Nottinghamshire. This characteristic species is found widely across southern counties of the UK.

Southern Green Shieldbug in Nottinghamshire. One to look for in 2019?

It is possible to keep a watchful eye on the progress of invertebrates having recently arrived into the UK, and for a number of years the Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula (Linnaeus, 1758) has showed signs of moving away from the London area, where it has been established for a number of years.

Towards the end of last year, what seemed to be an unbelievable record, was the news that Southern Green Shieldbug had been found new to Yorkshire towards the end of 2018 (Rhodda, A.). But rather surprisingly, the NBN Atlas showed there had already been a number of records stretching from London north-west to Cheshire, though nothing from the East Midlands or further north into Yorkshire.

However, among a recent crop of Nottinghamshire records we received at the end of 2018, was one of five Southern Green Shieldbugs at Rufford on September 3rd 2017. Recorded from SK6562, the grid reference is actually centred on Eakring Road at Bilsthorpe, but its possible that the record could have come from anywhere in the general area - even from Rufford CP. We have no idea whether the record is actually genuine, but recorders should be aware that this species could well be in Nottinghamshire and should be looked for.

A rare winter record of Pogonocherus hispidus and 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.