Invertebrate Notes February 2024

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)

Pteleobius vittatus (Curculionidae), Chester Zoo, VC58, Oct 2023, D. Bentley
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • 60 records in the UK according to NBN Atlas. A second record for the region (and VC58), having first been found in 1979. A very scattered distribution across England with few reports in the North.
  • This species is oligophagous on Elm. Larvae feed under the bark of dying trees, whereas adults hibernate under the bark of healthy trees.
Astenus pulchellus (Staphylinidae), Stretton Church, Warrington, VC58, 08/02, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • Only two prior recordings for the region in VC58 according to iRecord, and 115 reports on NBN Atlas for the UK. Scattered distribution across the UK except Northern Ireland, with the majority of recordings in central and western England.
  • A small beetle around 3.5mm in length typically found in rotting plant substrates.
Cryptopleurum subtile (Hydrophilidae), Stretton Church, Warrington, VC58, 08/02, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • Three prior recordings for the region in VC58 on iRecord, with 34 records for the UK on NBN Atlas. The distribution is fairly scattered across England and Wales and is becoming more widespread.
  • Internationally, it is mostly found across Northern and Western Europe, with records reaching Northern Asia and the Americas.
Ptilium horioni (Ptiliidae), Stretton Church, Warrington, VC58, 08/02, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • A probable first record for the region, with 12 records on NBN Atlas for the UK. This species is difficult to identify, hence the paucity of records.
  • UK records are very scattered, only reaching as far north as Doncaster.
Otiorhynchus crataegi (Privet weevil) (Curculionidae), Stretton, Warrington, VC58, 08/02, C. Washington
Mark Gurney (CC BY-NC-SA)
  • A third recording for the region (including one unconfirmed sighting), with 59 reports on iRecord. Records show that the region is the furthest north this species has been recorded in the UK.
  • The distribution is widespread but scattered having a larger presence in the South of England. It is gradually spreading.
  • The larvae are soil-dwelling, feeding on plant roots.
Pselactus spadix (Curculionidae), Thurstaston, VC58, 18/02, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • A first record for the region, with 76 records for the UK according to NBN Atlas.
  • Found on intertidal driftwood. All recordings are located along or near the coast, with the furthest sighting in Scotland. There are few sightings in the North of England.
  • This species feeds on timber in marine environments throughout its life stages. It can be frequently found in ports and harbours.

Diptera (Flies)

Phytobia cerasifera (Agromyzidae), Fishwick LNR (Valley View), Preston, VC60, 22/02, S. Priestley
Steve Priestley (CCO)
  • On iRecord, there has been 78 sightings, all of which have been recorded this winter following a new detection method. Records are widespread across the UK including 2 for the region.
  • The larvae feed on the xylem tissue of young Blackthorn stems (Prunus spinosa). They can be observed overwintering beneath the bark before resuming feeding in spring.
  • Adults can be seen during summer.
Cerodontha iridis (Agromyzidae), Martin Mere, Fish Lane, Burscough, Lancashire, VC59, 02/02, S. McWilliam + Liverpool, VC59, 04/02, A. Donegan
  • 12 recordings with an additional 2 in the region since last months notes. All regional records from 2020 onwards according to iRecord with 6 on NBN Atlas, making it a very recent arrival to the area with records increasing.
  • Distribution is widespread but local, with a concentration of reports coming from Central and South West England.
  • Larvae form blotch mines on Iris foetidissima (Stinking iris) forming larger areas if several mines merge.

Hemiptera (Bugs)

Acericerus ribauti (Cicadellidae), Southern Cemetery, Manchester, VC59, 02/02, P. Smiseth
Per Smiseth (CCO)
  • A first record for the region, with 91 recordings for the UK according to NBN Atlas. The first report of this species for Britain was in 2007, spreading from the south-east.
  • They can be difficult to separate from Acericerus vittifrons, a closely-related species – females are extremely similar. Males can be identified by the short bar on their face and the short antennal palettes.
  • This species feeds on maple and can be seen from August to December.
Nysius huttoni (Wheat Bug) (Lygaeidae), Weaste, Salford, VC59, 03/02, P. Smiseth
Per Smiseth (CCO)
  • 10 records on iRecord for the region, with a total of 76 in the UK according to NBN Atlas. A recent introduction in 2007, being native to New Zealand.
  • A crop pest in New Zealand of wheat and mustard crops, which causes a significant impact in drier years. There is no reported economic impacts caused by crop damage in Europe by this species.
  • Is considered a dominant species of Nysius in bare ground habitats and favouring habitats with sandy soil.
  • Best distinguished by the long hairs covering the pronotum and forewings.

Isopoda (Woodlice)

Armadillidium depressum (Southern Pill Woodlouse) (Armadillidiidae), Robert Street, Lancaster, VC60, 15/02, A. David
Ash David (CCO)
  • 12 records on iRecord and 5 on NBN Atlas in the NW from 2018 onwards, making it a recent introduction to the area. A high concentration of UK records are located in South West England, with sporadic records elsewhere of small populations.
  • This species is heavily synanthropic, being found on a variety of stone structures and dry limestone walls. They can also be found under loose stones and logs and have been recorded on the trunks of beech trees.
  • Most easy to spot at night when they are active on the surface of their habitat.

iRecord records summary

GroupNo. of recordsNo. of species
insect – beetle (Coleoptera)13047
insect – true fly (Diptera)6321
insect – hymenopteran5416
insect – true bug (Hemiptera)4022
spider (Araneae)2917
springtail (Collembola)127
harvestman (Opiliones)83

iRecord top 10 species

Scientific NameCommon NameFamilyOrderNumber of Records
Harmonia axyridisHarlequin LadybirdCoccinellidaeColeoptera23
Coccinella septempunctata7-spot LadybirdCoccinellidaeColeoptera19
Phytomyza ilicisHolly Leaf Gall FlyAgromyzidaeDiptera17
Oniscus asellusCommon Shiny WoodlouseOniscidaeIsopoda15
Eristalis tenaxSyrphidaeDiptera13
Limacus maculatusGreen Cellar SlugLimacidaePulmonata11
Bombus terrestrisBuff-tailed BumblebeeApidaeHymenoptera10
Cornu aspersumCommon Garden SnailHelicidaePulmonata10
Adalia bipunctata2-spot LadybirdCoccinellidaeColeoptera9
Porcellio scaberCommon Rough WoodlousePorcellionidaeIsopoda9
Tachypodoiulus nigerWhite-legged Snake MillipedeJulidaeJulida9