North West Invertebrates Blog

Invertebrate Notes October 2023

A selection of notable records reported to Tanyptera. Includes older, but newly recognised regional vice county records (dates blue). ‘The region’ = VC58, 59, 60 + Cheshire, Lancs, Merseyside, Greater Manchester.  Hydrochara caraboides (Hydrophilidae), Near… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes September 2023

Acari (Mites) Rhinusa antirrhini (Curculionidae), Freshman’s Wood, Lancaster, VC58, 24/9, S. Garland Tribolium castaneum (Tenebrionidae), Pickmere, VC58, 24/9, C. Washington Leiodes rufipennis (Leiodidae), Formby, VC59, 21/9, C. Washington Hylastes angustatus (Curculionidae), Thelwell, Warrington, VC58, 17/9,… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes August 2023

Acari (Mites) Platyrhinus resinosus (Curculionidae), Thorn Wood, Weaverham, VC58, 2/8, C. Washington Musk Beetle Aromia moschata (Cerambycidae) Hightown Dunes, VC59, 16/8, P. Kinsella Blundellsands, VC59, 24/8, P. Kinsella Collembola (Springtails) Diplopoda (Millipedes) Pipiza austriaca (Syrphidae),… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes July 2023

Acari (Mites) Hadroplontus trimaculatus (Curculionidae), Northwich, VC58, 16/7, C. Washington Musk Beetle Aromia moschata (Cerambycidae), Freshfield Dune Heath, VC59, July, A. Hampson. Ontholestes murinus (Staphylinidae), Ribble Estuary NNR, VC59, 27/7, C. Washington. Brundinia marina (Staphylinidae),… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes June 2023

Acari (Mites) Steneotarsonemus phragmitidis (Tarsonemidae), Burton Mere, Wirral, VC58, 28/6, S.J. McWilliam. Appears to be a new record for VC58 and the region Mite gall causer on common reed. 11 records currently on NBN Atlas,… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes May 2023

Liophloeus tessulatus  (Curculionidae), Alt bridge, VC59, P.Smith Only second record for Sefton coast Previous record also from the same area Diverse habitat from “meadows to mountains”, feeding on a range of common wild plants such… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes April 2023

Bruchidius varius (Chrysomelidae), Diggle, Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, VC58/63 18/4, K. Gartside. Found at a high altitude, possibly 900ft asl One of only 3 records from the region but widespread in Southern England. Associated with flowers,… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes March 2023

Cryptops parisi (Cryptopidae), Nether Kellet, VC60, 5/3, N. Garnham. Probably the first VC60 and regional record. A non-native, naturalised species. Most UK records are from SW Wales. Found in bag of horse manure. Can be… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes February 2023

Collembola (Springtails) Bilobella braunerae (Neanuridae), Brabyns Park, Marple, VC58, 20/2, R. Atherton. Confirmed by Peter Shaw. Appears new to VC58 and the NW region. c.40 spotted under a small area of bark on a fallen… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes January 2023

Rhagium inquisitor (Cerambycidae), Ellesmere Port, VC58, 26/1, M. Bennett. Possibly a first record for Cheshire and the region. An adventive found in Sawmill. The natural species range is restricted to Central Scotland in the UK…. Read more »

Invertebrate Notes December 2022

Orchesia micans (Melandryidae), Moore Nature Reserve, VC58, 27/12, C. Washington. A saproxylic. Previously known in Cheshire from well established sites (Oakmere, Styal, Wybunbury, Lyme Park etc). Occurrence at his relatively recently regenerated site, suggests Orchesia… Read more »

My Sefton Coast Diptera Highlights 2022

Despite the occasional excessive heat and drought-like conditions during the Summer, 2022 proved to be an excellent year for me in the field. I recorded my highest yearly total of Syphidae species on the Sefton… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes November 2022

Oxypoda induta (Staphylinidae), Woolston Eyes, VC58, 1/11, C. Washington. Possible first VC58 record. Found in Phragmites litter. 26 scattered records on NBN Atlas from England, including 2 from Merseyside. Myrmecocephalus concinnus (Staphylinidae), Jacksons Brickworks LNR… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes October 2022

Strigamia maritima (Linotaeniidae), Heysham Head, VC60, October, N. Garnham. Found only at the top of the shore, around the High-Water Spring stand line on the seaward side of the shingle bank. Although generally common around… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes September 2022

Geophilus insculptus (Geophilidae), Elton Goit, VC59, 17/9, D. Bentley. New to Greater Manchester according to searchable data sources. Can be found under stones etc. in the upper layer of soil in a variety of habitats…. Read more »

Invertebrate Notes August 2022

Aphodius zenkeri (Scarabaeidae), Dunham Massey, VC58, 1/8, C. Washington. A woodland favouring dung beetle that may be at the limit of it’s current NW range in Britain but has been known from Dunham for over… Read more »

Invertebrate Notes July 2022

Araneae (Spiders) Leviellus stroemi (Araneae), M, Combermere Park, VC58, May & June 2022, Col. G. Hedges. Det. T. Hunter. New to VC58 and the region. Nationally Rare and Near Threatened. The most recent UK record… Read more »

Conops strigatus on the Sefton Coast

  Conops strigatus (Dark-cheeked Beegrabber) (Fig. 1) is a scarce insect in Britain with scattered records as far north as Cumbria and hardly any for Central England. Only 78 records are shown on the NBN… Read more »

Collecting beetles from flood refuse

Although summer is often seen as peak time for entomology, many groups can be collected all year round if suitable techniques are used. This is particularly the case for beetles, as many species overwinter as… Read more »

2020 Invertebrate Highlights of a Southport Garden

My job revolves around protected sites and whilst I fully appreciate the invertebrate wonders to be found on nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest, since reading Ken Thompson’s ‘No Nettles Required’ well over… Read more »

Mapping an unusual Staphylinid in Cheshire

On 19th July 2020 Don Stenhouse and I were hunting for beetles in Danebridge, Staffordshire. We were on a mission to find new sites for Bromius obscurus (we didn’t) but like most beetlers, couldn’t resist… Read more »

Beetles for Hymenopterists

Other than the beetles associated with ant nests there are a couple of others that should interest Hymenopterists – and both are rarely recorded. Firstly is the Wasp Beetle (Metoecus paradoxus), the UK’s only representative… Read more »

Is Juniper Shieldbug in your garden?

Formerly restricted to Juniper woods in southern England, the Juniper Shieldbug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) is now common across southern and central England, having colonised planted Junipers and Cypresses in gardens. It has also been recorded on… Read more »

Robberflies (Asilidae) of the Sefton Coast sand-dunes

  Asilids are insects with attitude. They are active predators of other insects and therefore have good eyesight and rapid reactions, making them challenging subjects for photography. This is a small family as insects go… Read more »

Hunting Beetles in Winter: Chester Meadows

One of the good things about recording beetles is that you can do it at any time of the year, since many beetles overwinter as adults. In summer techniques like sweeping and beating are used… Read more »

Bugs, bugs and more bugs!

  It’s nearly ten years since I produced the last Heteroptera (true bugs) checklist for Lancashire and Cheshire. So, the time has come for another update. In the last checklist an impressive 45 new county… Read more »

Woundwort Shieldbug new to VC59?

  On 12th December 2019, botanist Joshua Styles emailed me to say that he had come across a “peculiar shieldbug” hiding in a plastic bag used to store seed of Berry Catchfly (Silene baccifera) in… Read more »

South Cheshire Rare Moths Project

  ‘Guess what’. ‘What?’ ‘I left the pheromones in the freezer. We need to go back’. ‘Haha, very funny.’ ‘No, really…’ So started the South Cheshire Rare Moths Project (or SCRaM to its friends). Our… Read more »

Colletes hederae (Ivy Bee) in North Merseyside

One of the most recent additions to the north Merseyside fauna is Colletes hederae, the Ivy Bee (Fig. 1). The first UK sightings of this distinctive solitary bee were in Dorset in 2001. Within the… Read more »

Speckled Bush-cricket still in Sefton

Returning to Falklands Way dunes, Ainsdale, in August 2019, I easily located male, female and immature Speckled Bush-crickets (Leptophyes punctatissima) close to where they were first noted in 2018. Trevor Davenport also found them again… Read more »

Day of the Limnephilids

Most large insects are inactive over winter. An exception are larvae of the caddis family Limnephilidae. They eat dead leaves that fall into freshwaters and that resource is at its peak over winter; many also… Read more »