Invertebrate Notes September 2023

A selection of notable records reported to Tanyptera. Includes older, but newly recognised regional vice county records (dates blue). ‘The region’ = VC58, 58, 60 + Cheshire, Lancs, Merseyside, Greater Manchester.

Acari (Mites)

Araneae (Spiders)

Chilopoda (Centipedes)

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Rhinusa antirrhini (Curculionidae), Freshman’s Wood, Lancaster, VC58, 24/9, S. Garland
Archive image – Mark Gurney – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
  • Appears to be the first VC60 record – based on Clive Washington’s regional checklist, NBN Atlas and iRecord. There are only a couple of other regional records.
  • Found on flowerheads of Toadflax, which is the foodplant of this small weevil (2-3mm). Can occur anywhere with Toadflax but apparently more common in central and South East England, and Wales.
Tribolium castaneum (Tenebrionidae), Pickmere, VC58, 24/9, C. Washington
Archive image: Udo Schmidt CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Known as the ‘Red Flour Beetle’. Most often associated with stored products such as food grain. Uncommonly found in the wild like this record.
  • The only other VC58 records on iRecord / NBN Atlas are from Combermere Park (one in a vane trap in 2022) and a historical record based on a specimen in Tullie House museum.
Leiodes rufipennis (Leiodidae), Formby, VC59, 21/9, C. Washington
  • Found at the roots of marram.
  • The only other published VC59 record is a reference to it being found in Southport by Fowler and Donisthorpe – Coleoptera of the British Isles VI (1913).
  • Over half the records on NBN Atlas are from the Outer Hebrides.
Hylastes angustatus (Curculionidae), Thelwell, Warrington, VC58, 17/9, C. Washington
  • Found in a decaying tree stump, only one unconfirmed previous VC58 record
  • Associated with Pine and Spruce. Rare in Britain and Ireland according to Duff (2016).
Cercyon laminatus (Hydrophilidae), Appleton Park, VC58, 4/9 (plus more than week), C. Washington
  • Also recorded by Ralph Atherton at a UV light a few days earlier. These are the first VC58 records but has been recorded as far north as Yorkshire.
  • Native to the Eastern Palearctic region but transported by human trade throughout the world. In the UK, first found in Kent in 1959.

Collembola (Springtails)

Diplopoda (Millipedes)

Cylindrioulus londinensis (Julidae), Williamson Park, Lancaster, VC60, 29/9, N. Garnham
  • Likely new to VC60. The only other regional records on NBN Atlas / iRecord are from Calderstones Park, Merseyside by S. McWilliam and S. Marley in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
  • Nationally Scarce. Most often found in woodland.
  • Internationally with an Atlantic distribution – outside of Britain and Ireland, found only in Western France and Northern Spain.
  • It’s large size and distinct projecting telson make it fairly straightforward to idenify.

Diptera (Flies)

Sepsis thoracica (Sepsidae), Ashton’s Flash, VC58, 8/9, P. Brighton
  • A first VC58 and North West England record.
  • This ant-like fly has a mainly coastal distribution and usually inhabits cow dung.
  • A glossy lower half of the sternopleuron makes it unmistakable amongst other Sepsis species.
Chorisops nagatomii (Stratiomyidae)
Colliers Moss, VC59, 13/9, P. Brighton
Houghton Green Pool, VC59, early Sept, P. Brighton
  • Few VC59 and other NW England records. Widespread but local in Southern England.
  • Usually found in woodland and mature scrub. Possibly saproxylic.

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

Mesovelia fucata (Pondweed Bug) (Mesoveliidae), Hatchmere, VC58, 25/9, D. Bentley
D. Bentley (CCO)
  • A single adult found in mixed vegetation on edge of Phragmites stand by lake
  • A second Cheshire record having been recorded by D. Bentley at Melchett Mere, Tatton Park in 2016/17.
  • Widespread in Southern Britain. Predatory on other small insects. Usually wingless but when winged forms occur, they can fly and colonise new waterbodies.

Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps & Ants)




Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) (Libellulidae), Elton Reservoir / MBB Canal, VC59, 13/9, D. Bentley
Dennis Atherton (CCO)
  • 2-5 adults recorded.
  • Breeds in shallow acidic pools. Usually associated with moorland and peat moss.
  • Not uncommon in suitable habitat across the region but this is limited in Greater Manchester, and the dragonfly is scarce.
  • Mature males are unmistakable as the only Black Dragonfly in the UK.

Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)

Clifden Nonpareil (Catolcala fraxini) (Noctuidae), Woolton, VC59, 19/9, S.J. McWilliam.
(c) Steve McWilliam
  • A single adult caught in a garden MV light trap. This follows an unprecedented spate of recent records across the region. Other Lancashire reports on social media from Rishton, Atherton, Warrington and Southport. Probably other sites too.
  • The largest of the ‘Underwings’ – this spectacular Aspen feeder became extinct as a resident in the mid-20th century but has since recolonised, and is spreading North.

Orthoptera (Grasshoppers and Crickets)

Psocoptera (Barkflies)

Philotarsus parviceps (Philotarsidae), Houghton Green Pool, VC59, 19/9, P. Brighton
  • Specimen sweep.
  • Species found on various trees and also Heather.
  • Possibly a first VC59 record but the national scheme database is not currently published. There are no VC59 records on NBN Atlas or iRecord. Likely to be under-recorded.

iRecord records summary

    GroupNo. of recordsNo. of species
    insect – true fly (Diptera)1188278
    insect – true bug (Hemiptera)540105
    insect – hymenopteran45583
    insect – dragonfly (Odonata)38414
    insect – beetle (Coleoptera)36676
    spider (Araneae)18621
    insect – orthopteran7410
    insect – caddis fly (Trichoptera)4015

    iRecord top 10 species

      Scientific NameCommon NameOrderNo. of records
      Sympetrum striolatumCommon DarterOdonata151
      Harmonia axyridisHarlequin LadybirdColeoptera120
      Araneus diadematusGarden Orb-Web SpiderAraneae114
      Aeshna mixtaMigrant HawkerOdonata89
      Palomena prasinaGreen ShieldbugHemiptera80
      Bombus pascuorumCommon Carder BeeHymenoptera56
      Eristalis tenaxDiptera53
      Coccinella septempunctata7-spot LadybirdColeoptera49
      Syrphus ribesiiDiptera45
      Tipula paludosaDiptera45