Invertebrate Notes December 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.

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Stenopterapion tenue (Apionidae), Crowtrees Farm, VC59, 03/09/2023, D. Bentley
David Bentley (CCO)
  • New to VC59, Stenopterapion tenue is largely found in the Midlands, southern England, and Wales.
  • A known feeder of legumes and legume grasses, this specimen was found on black medick Medicago lupulina, a member of the legume family.
Rhyzobius lophanthae (Coccinellidae), Crowtrees Farm, VC59, 03/09/2023, D. Bentley
David Bentley (CCO)
  • First record in the North West and VC59, this species is sparsely distributed throughout the south and midlands, and especially well recorded around Shrewsbury.
  • Alien to the UK, this species is native to Australia, thought to be brought over by trade.
  • A predator of scale insects. Used as a biological control agent to reduce the number of scale insects on a crop, though the beetle itself is a pest of citrus plants.
Dendrophilus punctatus (Histeridae), Rixton Claypits NR, VC59, 04/12, C. Washington
Dick Belgers (CC BY)
  • A beetle with few accessible Northern England records. Likely the first record in VC59.
  • Largely found in the midlands and south, with outlying records in Scotland
  • This specimen was found in a tree with heartrot, as is typical for this species. Associated with wasp/ant nests, as well as bird nests and similar structures.
Haploglossa gentilis (Staphylinidae)
Rixton Claypits NR, VC59, 04/12, C. Washington
Leftwich Meadows, VC58, 09/12, C. Washington
PLAT Vincent (CC BY)
  • Potentially the first records in both VC58 and VC59, this species is distributed mainly throughout southern England and the southerly half of Wales.
  • As is common for a member of the Aleocharinae subfamily, this species is often found within decaying vegetation, fungi, or carrion, with these two records being found in tree heart rot and rotting timber respectively.
Aderus populneus (Aderidae), Rixton Claypits NR, VC59, 04/12, C. Washington
Hayley Dee Sears (CC BY)
  • Typically found in southeast England, the midlands, and south Wales, this record may the the first in VC59.
  • A. populneus is saproxylic, with the larvae feeding on rotting wood and fungi, with this record being found in a tree with heart rot. 
  • Field identification possible from the distinctive markings on the elytra.
Quedius fulgidus (Staphylinidae), Rixton Claypits NR, VC59, 04/12, C. Washington
Nikolai Vladimirov (CC BY)
  • Few records exist of Q. fulgidus in the north west, especially within the last few decades. This may be the first record within VC59 in over 100 years.
  • Like most staphylinidae, this species is largely found in decaying vegetation and forest litter. This individual was found within a tree with heart rot.
Mycetophagus quadriguttatus (Mycetophagidae), Northwich, VC58, 11/12, C. Washington
Simon Knott (CC BY)
  • A species with few Northern records.
  • Often found in synanthropic habitats, especially near stores of grain or similar food sources, though they do not eat this grain, but any fungi that grows on the grain.
  • Adults may carry fungal spores on their bodies between food stores.
Dorytomus melanophthalmus (Curculionidae), Vale Royal Wood, VC58, 16/12, C. Washington
David Adamson (CC BY)
  • One of a handful of records in the north west.
  • Often found on members of the willow family, where it lays its eggs in the flowers.
  • Scattered distribution throughout the UK with fewer records towards the north.
Eulagius filicornis (Mycetophagidae), Vale Royal Wood, VC58, 16/12, C. Washington
Robert Smith (CCO)
  • Very few records beyond southern England. Native to southern France and North Africa.
  • Larvae feed on fungi associated with decaying oak trees.
Dienerella clathrata (Latridiidae), Vale Royal Wood, VC58, 16/12, C. Washington
Linda Losito (CC BY NC SA)
  • Perhaps the first record in VC58, this beetle is mainly distributed in the south and midlands.
  • Whilst information on D. clathrata is lacking, members of the Dieneralla genus are known to feed on fungus found in rotting wood.
Pocadius ferrugineus (Nitidulidae), Gowy Meadows, VC58, 19/12, C. Washington
Ian Carle (CC BY NC)
  • Distributed throughout most of England and Wales with fewer records in the north.
  • Associated with puffball fungus, which is where this record was found.
  • Can be distinguished from other members of its genus by having shorter hairs at the edge of its elytra.
Ptinella cavelli (Ptiliidae), Primrose Hill Wood, VC58, 29/12, C. Washington
S.E. Thorpe (CCO)
  • Species with little documentation, or images available. A generally poorly recorded beetle family.
  • Most records in Wales, though can be found in the midlands and northwest also.


Geomyza hackmani (Opomyzidae), Coney Green, VC59, 3/09/2023, D. Bentley
Dylan Hodgkiss (CC)
  • First record in VC59, this species is relatively rare, and has few records as a result, though isn’t limited to the south of England and the midlands, being spotted in the north and wales.
  • Genital analysis of males is required to differentiate G. hackmani from Geomyza balachowskyi, the only members of the combinata group found in Britain.
  • Larvae feed within the stems of Poaceae grasses.
Campiglossa misella (Tephritidae), Carey Park and Witton Lime Beds, VC58, C. Reiki
Chris Reiki (CC BY NC)
  • Gall found on the stem of Artemisia vulgaris,
  • C. misella has a scattered distribution throughout England.
  • C. misella only makes galls in the first generation (May-June), with any second generations living in the flowers without creating galls, so this gall was likely created around 6 months before being photographed.

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

Mocydiopsis parvicauda (Cicadellidae), Crowtrees Farm, Bury, VC59, 31/08/2023, D. Bentley
David Bentley (CCO)
  • No prior records in the North West, with the species being found largely in Southern England where it occurs in grassy, acidic areas.
  • Similar to Mocydiopsis attenuata, but able to be identified through a shorter anal tube in male M. parvicauda and a lack of a dark spot on the clavus of most individuals, though this spot may still be present.

Collembola (Springtails)

Sminthurinus elegans (Katiannidae), Coney Green, VC59, 09/03/2023, D. Bentley
David Bentley (CCO)
  • Likely the first record in VC59, this species is commonly distributed throughout the UK, though few records are available.
  • Online sources suggest difficulty in identification between this species and Sminthurinus aureus, as S. elegans four longitudinal bands are similar to certain colourmorphs of S. aureus. This is likely one of the reasons for the small number of records of this species despite its relatively widespread distribution.
  • Found in wet areas such as marshes, wetlands, and areas prone to flooding. Prefers drier environments than S. aureus.
Sminthurinus aureus (Katiannidae), Coney Green, VC59, 09/03/2023, D. Bentley
David Bentley (CCO)
  • The second record in the North West and the first for VC59. Assumed to be widespread throughout the UK, though poorly recorded.
  • Identifiable from other Sminthurinus species due to its 5th and 6th abdominal segments appearing to be fused, as well as its 4th antennal segment not being subdivided.
  • Prefers wet environments such as marshes, flood meadows, and areas abundant with decaying vegetation. Often found in leaf litter in autumn.

iRecord records summary

GroupNo. of recordsNo. of species
insect – beetle (Coleoptera)432227
insect – true fly (Diptera)3514
insect – true bug (Hemiptera)1612
spider (Araneae)119
insect – hymenopteran87
harvestman (Opiliones)54
springtail (Collembola)43

iRecord top 10 species

Scientific NameCommon NameOrderNo. of records
Phytomyza ilicisHolly Leaf Gall FlyDipteraAgromyzidae12
Harmonia axyridisHarlequin LadybirdColeopteraCoccinellidae11
Paradromius linearisColeopteraCarabidae8
Oniscus asellusCommon Shiny WoodlouseIsopodaOniscidae7
Enicmus transversusColeopteraLatridiidae7
Halyzia sedecimguttataOrange LadybirdColeopteraCoccinellidae6
Agelastica alniAlder Leaf BeetleColeopteraChrysomelidae6
Xantholinus linearisColeopteraStaphylinidae6
Cortinicara gibbosaColeopteraLatridiidae6
Euophryum confineColeopteraCurculionidae6
Phytomyza chaerophylliDipteraAgromyzidae6
Tachyporus hypnorumColeopteraStaphylinidae6
Cartodere nodiferColeopteraLatridiidae6