Invertebrate Notes August 2022

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.

Araneae (Spiders)

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Aphodius zenkeri (Scarabaeidae), Dunham Massey, VC58, 1/8, C. Washington.
(c) 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 100 years, where it is associated with the park’s deer herd. There had been no published records from this since 1986.
  • Elsewhere in the region, there are only published records from Bickerton Hill and Lyme Park (both Cheshire).
Alphitobius diaperinus (Tenebrionidae), Appleton, Warrington, VC58, 13/8, C. Washington.
(c) Clive Washington
  • The ‘Lesser Mealworm Beetle’. No recent Cheshire records.
  • Synanthropic. Associated with stored products.
  • This record is from a garden moth trap.

Diptera (True Flies)

Leopoldius signatus Ivy Waspgrabber (Conopidae), Saddleworth, VC64, 14/8, K. Gartside. Confirmed by D. Clements
  • Appears new to Greater Manchester. A single adult found perched on Pheasantberry, next to Ivy in the recorder’s garden.
  • Main host is Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris).
  • The easiest way to find this species is by searching Ivy in September and October. It has yet to be recorded in VC60.
Hilara hirtipes (Empididae), Higher Spen Moor, VC59, 27/5, D. Bentley.
  • Appears new to Greater Manchester. Adult male dissected.
  • Just 48 widely scattered record on NBN Atlas from England. Elsewhere in the region was regularly recorded from Croft (VC59) from late May through June in 2021.
Molophilus corniger (Limoniidae), Yarrow Valley Country Park, VC59, 17/8, P. Brighton.
  • New to VC59. Appears widely recorded in the UK according to NBN Atlas but apparently few regional records.
  • An indicator species for good quality base-rich conditions according to Stubbs (2021)
Conicera dauci (Phoridae), Yarrow Valley Country Park, VC59, 17/8, R. Zloch.
  • New to VC59 and the region. 31 records on NBN Atlas scattered further south across England and Wales.
  • Biological information not readily available.
Sphegina verecunda (Syrphidae), Yarrow Valley Country Park, VC59, 17/8, R. Zloch.
  • Just two previous VC59 records from 1989.
  • Associated with damp woodland. Widespread but local in the UK.
Chrysotoxum verralli (Syrphidae), Ainsdale NNR, VC59, 17/8, P. Kinsella.
P. Kinsella (CC-BY)
  • A single female Chrysotoxum verralli at Ainsdale represents first record for the Sefton coast in 32 years, although there have been more recent records elsewhere for VC59.
  • Most UK records of this grassland hoverfly are from the midlands and SE England.
Tabanus sudeticus Dark Giant Horsefly (Tabanidae), Crawshaw Booth, VC59, Aug22, B. Hargreaves.
  • New to VC59. Elsewhere in the region, this horsefly is well known from Morecambe Bay but generally absent elsewhere. The distribution in Great Britain has strongly northern and western bias.
  • Europe’s heaviest fly. Found in the vicinity of livestock in damp base-poor environments.

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

Ribautiana debilis (Cicadellidae), Higher Spen Moor, VC59, 27/5, D. Bentley.
D. Bentley (CCO)
  • New to Greater Manchester and apparently just one other regional record (Ainsdale pre-1960).
  • Just 59 records on NBN Atlas but widely scattered across the UK. Feeds on a variety of trees and shrubs.
Adelphocoris lineolatus (Miridae), Ainsdale NNR, VC59, 10/8, P. Kinsella.
P. Kinsella (CC-BY)
  • A common bug across Britain but scarcely recorded from NW England, for which there are just 5 iRecord observations.
  • A grassland species that feeds on various herbaceous legumes

Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps & Ants)


Sea Aster Bee Colletes halophilus (Colletidae), Marshside (28/8 & 6/9), VC59, P. Smith. Confirmed by S. Falk. Heswall (23/8), VC58, C. Aldridge/L. Dixon (brought to the attention of the Cheshire Bee Group by Andrew Goodwin). Confirmed by B. Hargreaves.
  • These are the first confirmed records for VC58 and 59.
  • Strongly associated with saltmarsh and other brackish coastal habitats supporting good stands of Sea Aster, which is the main forage plant.
  • Previously restricted to sites around the southern North Sea and English Channel. Evidently, the bee has made a big jump across the country and should be looked for on other western estuaries.
  • A Section 41 conservation priority speciesĀ 


Philanthus triangulum (Crabronidae), Ainsdale LNR (2/8 & 10/8), Crosby Marine Park (18/8), VC59, P. Kinsella.
P. Kinsella (CC-BY)
  • An increasing species in the NW, but still rather localised.
  • Found in four locations on the Sefton Coast by Pete Kinsella in 2022, and since 2019 has been recorded from Crosby to Birkdale.
  • Formerly a rarity in the UK. Main prey species honey bee workers (Apis mellifera).
Andricus infectorius (Cynipidae), Prescot, VC59, 5/8, S. Marley. Comfirmed by G. Roera and by C. Leach.
(c) Susan Marley
  • 2nd VC59 record after a 2020 observation at Childwell Woods by Brenda Cameron.
  • Only recently recorded in the UK. So far identified from at least Cornwall, Leicestershire and Yorkshire and may have been overlooked for some time.
  • Causes a spherical gall on the terminal bud of an oak branch. The gall is similiar in appearance to the common marble gall caused by Andricus kollari.
Listrodromus nycthemerus (Ichneumonidae), Saddleworth, VC64, 28/8, K. Gartside.
(c) K. Gartside
  • A specialist parasitoid of the Holly Blue butterfly.
  • Possibly new to VC58. Just one other published record for the region (N. Garnham – Bolton-le-Sands – 2018) but maybe severely under-recorded given the host distribution and level of Ichneumonidae recording. It is also suggested that it could be assumed to be (more numerously seen) Mellinus.

Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)

Chalcolestes viridis (Lestidae), Maw Green, Crewe, VC58, 14/8, 20/8, 23/8, A & A Goodwin.
A. Goodwin (CCO)
  • Two different males seen across 3 days. New to Cheshire and NW England. First recorded in Britain from Felixstowe, Suffolk in 2007, and has spread rapidly northwards since.
  • Associated with water bodies edged with vegetation, especially ponds.
  • Flight period up to November so is worth looking out for further north for the remainder of the season.

Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)

Caloptilia semifascia (Gracillariidae), Woolton, VC59, 19/7, S. McWilliam. Confirmed by S. Palmer.
(c) Steve McWilliam
  • 1st confirmed VC59 record from an adult at a light trap at Woolton. Previously made larval records of this species had to removed as they were found to be unreliable after the discovery of a similar species also producing the same cones it’s foodplant, field maple.
  • The 1st confirmed VC58 record was made from the Wirral on 23rd July 2022.

Orthoptera (Grasshoppers and Crickets)