Invertebrate Notes July 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.
Hadroplontus trimaculatus (Curculionidae), Northwich, VC58, 16/7, C. Washington
Archive image – Mark Gurney – (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
First record for VC58 and Cheshire. Widely scattered in Southern England according to NBN Atlas.
Feeds on Thistles – mostly Musk Thistle in the UK according to the UKBeetles website.
May be swept from the host plants.
Aromia moschata (Cerambycidae), Freshfield Dune Heath, VC59, July, A. Hampson.
Well known from the Sefton Coast but only one recent record (2021). There are several older records. Elsewhere in the region, known from Fleetwood and the former Chat Moss area of Greater Manchester.
A very large, distinctive longhorn beetle.
Associated with wetlands and margins habitats where it’s larvae feed on Willow. They bore through the bark and into the sapwood.
Ontholestes murinus (Staphylinidae), Ribble Estuary NNR, VC59, 27/7, C. Washington.
(c) Clive Washington
No iRecord / NBN Atlas records for VC59 or the region but there are a couple of older VC59 records according to Don Stenhouse.
A distinctive rove beetle that feeds on carrion and larvae in dung.
Brundinia marina (Staphylinidae), Ribble Estuary NNR, VC59, 27/7, C. Washington.
Recorded by Don Stenhouse at Southport in 2020, and previously recorded on the Ribble Estuary in 2011, and also the Sefton Coast in 1989 according to NBN Atlas.
Local nationally and associated with coastal saltmarsh.
Mallota cimbiciformis (Syrphidae) Ainsdale NNR, VC59, 02/7, P. kinsella
Freshfield Dune Heath, VC59, 02/07, P. Kinsella
1st records for Merseyside and the Sefton Coast.
Associated with the water-filled rot holes of mature trees, where the rat-tailed larvae develop.
Widespread but very local across the UK.
Pipiza lugubris (Syrphidae), Freshfield Dune Heath, VC59, 19/07, P. Kinsella
Female. P. Kinsella.
1st records for Merseyside and the Sefton Coast.
Nationally Scarce according to Ball & Morris (2014, JNCC Species Status No. 9).
Found in hedgerows and woods. The larvae feed on Schizoneura aphids which curl the leaves of Elm.
Mintho rufiventris (Tachinidae), Formby Point, VC59, 22/10/2022, P. Smith, Det. C. Raper.
(c) Phil Smith
Recently re-determined. New to VC59 and appears to be the 2nd regional record
The larvae parasitise moth caterpillars, mainly of Pyralidae.
Found in various habitats from May to October
Phasia obesa (Tachinidae) Ravenmoels LNR, Formby, VC59, 7/7, P. Kinsella
Freshfield Dune Heath LNR, VC59, 19/7, P. Kinsella
Several records previously at sites well inland in NW, but these appear to be first records for the Sefton Coast.
Widespread in England
A parasite of Heteropteran bugs.
Ceratitis capitata (Tephritidae), Galgate near Lancaster, VC60, 01/06/2023, R. Zloch
Two adults found in a kitchen. First record for VC60. Just 10 NBN Atlas and 10 iRecord records (not all the same). Recorded historically by Harry Britten in Manchester on two occasions.
A non-native but considered one of the most destructive fruit pests in the Western Hemisphere. However, considered a low risk to the UK.
The basal half of the wing has a distinctive ‘circuit board-like’ pattern unlike any British species.
Hemiptera (True Bugs)
Anoscopus limicola (Cicadellidae), Ribble Estuary NNR, Formby, VC59, 27/7, K. Fowler
First VC59 record this century.
Associated with Saltmarshes but may be only a variant of
Macrosteles horvathi (Cicadellidae), Ribble Estuary NNR, Formby, VC59, 27/7, K. Fowler
First VC59 record this century. Historically recorded from the Sefton Coast.
Locally common in marshy areas and wet grasslands.
Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps & Ants)
Brachymeria tibialis (Chalcididae), Ravenmeols LNR, Formby, VC59, 4/7, P. Kinsella
Appears to be the first record for VC59.
New to Britain in 2008. First recorded in the NW region in 2021 when it was found at Ashton’s Flash, Northwich, and New Ferry Butterfly Park, Wirral, within a week.
Parasitic on the Burnet moth family and some other moths.
Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)
Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Thymelicus lineola (Hesperiidae), Elton Reservoir, VC59, 9/7, D. Bentley – ***Unconfirmed***
Possibly only 2nd VC59 record, having been recorded on the Sefton Coast in 2017.
Expanded in distribution enormously across the UK over the past few decades. Now widespread in Cheshire.
Caterpillars feed on various grasses in dry situations where the vegetation is allowed to grow tall.
Scarlet Tiger Moth Callimorpha dominula (Erebidae), Ravenmeols LNR, Formby, VC59, 4/7, P. Kinsella
Appears to be the first record for the Sefton Coast. Part of a small influx of records in VC59 during 2023.
The species has been spreading North from South-west England.
The caterpillars feed on a range of plants, for a preference for Comfrey.
Orthoptera (Grasshoppers and Crickets)
Group No. of records No. of species
insect - true fly (Diptera) 1362 156
insect - beetle (Coleoptera) 1023 118
insect - hymenopteran 754 132
insect - true bug (Hemiptera) 741 102
insect - dragonfly (Odonata) 478 20
insect - orthopteran 209 14
spider (Araneae) 80 20
mollusc 77 22
acarine (Acari) 40 15
harvestman (Opiliones) 38 5
iRecord top 10 species
Scientific Name Common Name Order No. of records
Rhagonycha fulva Common Red Soldier Beetle Coleoptera 197
Harmonia axyridis Harlequin Ladybird Coleoptera 170
Coccinella septempunctata 7-spot Ladybird Coleoptera 150
Episyrphus balteatus Marmalade Hoverfly Diptera 139
Chorthippus brunneus Field Grasshopper Orthoptera 99
Aeshna grandis Brown Hawker Odonata 93
Bombus lapidarius Red-tailed Bumblebee Hymenoptera 88
Apis mellifera Western Honey Bee Hymenoptera 85
Propylea quattuordecimpunctata 14-spot Ladybird Coleoptera 69
Palomena prasina Green Shieldbug Hemiptera 67