Invertebrate Notes May 2024

A selection of notable records reported to Tanyptera. Includes older, but newly recognized regional vice county records (dates blue). ‘The region’ = VC58, 59, 60 + Cheshire, Lancs, Merseyside, Greater Manchester.

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Oxyporus rufus (Staphylinidae), Alt Bridge, Formby, VC59, 15/05, P. Kinsella
  • A new record for the NW, with one unconfirmed museum specimen dating back to 1935 from Southport.
  • 124 records for the UK according to NBN Atlas. These are scattered, with most confirmed records coming from the East of England, particularly in the south east.
  • Associated with agaric fungal fruiting bodies that can be found on standing or fallen timber. Woodland and parkland are where they are typically found.
  • Adults can be found from May to September, with larvae occurring in these fruiting fungi, where they develop and overwinter the following Spring.
 Liophloeus tessulatus (Curculionidae), Alt Bridge, Formby, VC59, 15/05, P. Kinsella
  • 17 previous records on NBN Atlas for the region, and 1147 records for the UK.
  • Widespread and mostly common in England and Wales with more scattered records in the North, with fewer records in the North West.
  • They can be found in a range of habitats but mostly in damper areas, such as woodland margins, grassland. Also found up mountains.
  • At lower altitudes, females are able to reproduce via pathogenesis and at higher altitudes, they use bisexual reproduction.
Cassida vibex (Chrysomelidae), Hope Carr NR, VC59, 05/05, Frodsham Marsh, VC58, 12/05, C. Washington
Ryszard (CC BY-NC)
  • Now 23 records on iRecord found in VC59, and 21 in VC58 following recent northward expansion.
  • 1198 records for the UK according to NBN Atlas but still at the northern range limit in Lancs.
  • Found in a range of habitats on knapweeds, thistles, saw-wort, and burdock. Adults seen April to September.
Ontholestes murinus (Staphylinidae), Pennington Flash, VC59, 05/05, Ince Marshes, VC58, 26/05, C. Washington
Ryszard (CC BY-NC)
  • A new record for the region with one unconfirmed record in VC59 from 2018 on iRecord.
  • Widespread throughout the UK, with populations in the north and Scotland being more local and scarce compared to the rest of Britain. There is a higher concentration of records across the Midlands and South East England according to NBN Atlas.
  • Adults found year-round, with both larval and adult stages preying on carrion and larvae in dung. They can be found amongst decaying matter in drier areas.
Rhinocyllus conicus (Curculionidae), Frodsham, VC58, 12/05, C. Washington
Christina Butler (CC BY)
  • Only 9 previous recordings for the region according to iRecord, all located within VC58.
  • This species was introduced and has now spread throughout central and southern England, with populations continuing to spread northwards. It is native to southern and central Europe, western Asia, and North Africa.
  • They feed on a range of thistles. Adults are able to overwinter near the host plant and become active during late spring.
Xylodromus depressus (Staphylinidae), Plumley, VC58, 23/05, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA)
  • A new record for the region, with only 73 UK records according to NBN Atlas. Their distribution is mostly across the midlands, with continental records being located in Central and Northern Europe.
  • They can be found in leaf litter in woodlands and open habitat.
Gyrophaena manca (Staphylinidae), Rocksavage, VC58, 14/05, Plumley, 23/05, C. Washington
  • Only one recent record for the region from 2022 according to iRecord, with 12 records on NBN from 1989 and 1990s. Distribution is scattered but focused around central and southeastern England, and North Wales.
  • They live primarily in tree sponges.
Atheta liturata (Staphylinidae), Rocksavage, VC58, 14/05, C. Washington
  • A new record for the region, with 156 UK records. These are widespread across the east of England, with concentrations in the South East and Midlands but records for the North are rare.
  • They are typically associated with rotten wood and mosses.
Epuraea rufomarginata (Nitidulidae), Rocksavage, VC58, 14/05, C. Washington
  • 2 confirmed records for the region according to NBN Atlas, with 55 records for the UK. Widespread but scarce across England.

Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths)

Lampronia fuscatella (Birch gall moth) (Prodoxidae), Ashtons flats, VC58, 13/05, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • First recorded in VC58 in 1976. 40 UK records with a scarce but widespread distribution on NBN Atlas. These UK records can be found in the south of England to the Highlands in Scotland.
  • On the wing from May to June during the afternoon.
  • Larvae feed on birch leaves at the node, forming a gall.
 Grapholita compositella (Tortricidae), Murbury, VC58, 26/5, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • A locally common species with 83 total records for Cheshire. Their distribution is scattered across the UK, being fairly common in the places where they are found.
  • They are day flying moths on the wing between May and June, and again in August as a second generation. These moths are seen flying around habitats with short grass.
  • The larval hostplants on clovers.

Diptera (Flies)

Ctenophora pectinicornis (Tipulidae), Marbury Park, VC58, 08/05, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • 23 previous records for the region according to iRecord. Widespread but local in the UK. 887 records on NBN Atlas.
  • This species is typically confined to old deciduous woodland and orchards where they are associated with fallen trees. This is due to the larvae feeding on dead or decaying wood.
  • They are seen as adults during late spring to autumn.
Brachyopa insensilis (Syphridae), Ravenmeols LNR, VC59, 10/05, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • A first recording for the region. 105 widely scattered records on NBN Atlas. This species is likely to be under recorded.
  • They are associated with the sap on broadleaved trees, especially elm and horse chestnut.
Criorhina asilica (Syphridae), Gait Barrows NNR, VC60, 09/05, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • Only 8 previous records in the region according to NBN Atlas, with an additional one on iRecord in VC60. There are 196 NBN Atlas records presenting a wide distribution but no records for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and South West England.
  • They are often associated with broadleaved woodlands and other old deciduous trees.
  • Adults are on the wing between April and July and are often found around flowers.
Parasyrphus lineola (Syphridae), Ainsdale NNR, VC59, 20/05, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • 116 UK records with 14 records from VC59 in the 1980s-90s. They are widespread across the UK but local, even being found in the north of Scotland.
  • This species seems to require spruce, where larvae feed on aphids.
Sphegina sibirica (Syphridae), Longridge Fell, VC59, 31/05, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • A first record for the region, with 217 UK records according to NBN Atlas. Most recordings are concentrated in North Wales and scattered across Scotland. There aren’t many records in England, with most coming from the West Midlands, specifically close to the England-Wales border.
  • Originally non-native, arriving in the UK in the 1990s from the continent.
  • They are often associated with birch and conifer woodlands.
Phytomyza miniscula (Agromyzidae), Neumanns Flash, VC58, 25/05, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • A new record for VC58 according to NBN Atlas, with most records for the region being VC59 with 30. For the UK, there are 210 records which are very scattered but widespread, with few records in the south of England but a concentration in the Midlands.
  • Larvae normally host on Aquilegias but can target several plants. Therefore, they are often found in gardens. They pupate out of the leaf.
Contarinia tiliarum (Cecidomyiidae), Marbury, VC58, 24/05, C. Hynes
  • 32 records for the region according to iRecord, with 317 records for the UK. 180 UK records on NBN Atlas. All records for the region are located in VC58/59. UK records are widespread with a concentration found in the Midlands. It is thought to be under recorded.
  • The larvae host on limes, forming a gall on the petiole, young stem, or flower stalk. The gall can appear pale green and may turn red in colouration. The larvae look light yellow and form chambers in the gall.
Neria cibaria (Micropezidae), Alt Bridge, Formby, VC59, 18/05, P. Smith
Phil Smith (CCO)
  • 41 previous records for the region and 8 records for VC59 according to NBN Atlas with no presence noted in the Formby area. 1451 records in the UK showing a widespread distribution. Fairly common in southern counties.
  • Usually found in woodlands and other vegetated habitats and can be found between May and July.
Liriomyza eupatorii (Agromyzidae), Northwich, VC58, 31/05, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • Only 4 records for the region on iRecord, and 407 records for the UK. It is widespread but local in the North. A lot of records from Southern Wales and England, as well as many across the Midlands, especially in the east.
  • The larvae feed on a variety of plants, such as Hemp-agrimony. The mine begins as a spiral, that turns brown, and extends into a straight corridor.

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

Tetraneura ulmi (Aphididae), Barnton, VC58, 19/05, C. Hynes
Chris Hynes (CCO)
  • 15 records on iRecord for the region and 490 records on NBN Atlas with a fairly widespread distribution throughout the UK. There are few records for the south west of England.
  • This species hosts on elm, forming a fig-like gall that sits upright on the top surface of a leaf. The galls are more likely to be seen than the adults themselves.

Odonata (Dragonflies & Damselflies)

 Ischnura pumilio (Scarce Blue-tailed damselfly) (Coenagrionidae), Woolston Eyes NR, Warrington, VC58, 21/05, D. Bowman
Dan Owen (CCO)
  • 42 previous recordings in VC58 from one site on NBN, and an additional recording in Warrington from 2023 according to iRecord.
  • Distribution across the UK is scattered, with populations being concentrated in Wales and south-west England.
  • This species was listed as Near Threatened in the British Odonata Red List 2008 and has been declining since the 1980s.
Cordulia aenea (Downy Emerald) (Corduliidae), VC58, 21/05, P. Brewster
Paul Brewster (CCO)
  • An important record showing that the breeding population in Cheshire is ongoing. VC58 is fortunate to be one of the counties away from the south of England with this rare population.
  • It is Least Concern on the GB Red List, and is considered scarce and local in the UK.
  • This species is usually found around ponds within or close proximity to deciduous woodlands. They also require a layer of leaf litter to provide the best breeding conditions.

Arachnida (Spiders & mites)

Theridiosoma gemmosum (Theridiosomatidae), Middleton NR, VC60, 17/05, J. Sharp
Jessica Sharp (CCO)
  • A first record for VC60 and the most northerly record. 242 UK records according to the Spider Recording Scheme on the BAS.
  • They are more widely distributed in the south of England but local where found.
  • Can be found in damp places, typically fens, bogs, ditches, marshes, etc., with adults seen between May to August. They construct a small web in low vegetation.

iRecord records summary May 2024

GroupNo. of recordsNo. of species
insect – true fly (Diptera)1960389
insect – beetle (Coleoptera)1857198
insect – hymenopteran804122
insect – dragonfly (Odonata)60715
insect – true bug (Hemiptera)60183
spider (Araneae)17149
acarine (Acari)9423
insect – caddis fly (Trichoptera)3513

iRecord top 10 species May 2024

Scientific NameCommon NameFamilyOrderNumber of Records
Harlequin LadybirdHarmonia axyridisCoccinellidaeColeoptera317
2-spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctataCoccinellidaeColeoptera176
7-spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctataCoccinellidaeColeoptera164
Azure DamselflyCoenagrion puellaCoenagrionidaeOdonata145
Alder Leaf BeetleAgelastica alniChrysomelidaeColeoptera145
Large Red DamselflyPyrrhosoma nymphulaCoenagrionidaeOdonata137
14-spot LadybirdPropylea quattuordecimpunctataCoccinellidaeColeoptera117
Swollen-thighed BeetleOedemera nobilisOedemeridaeColeoptera111
Common Carder BeeBombus pascuorumApidaeHymenoptera107
Early BumblebeeBombus pratorumApidaeHymenoptera87