Invertebrate Notes November 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.

Acari (Mites)

Piona carnea (Pionidae), West Cheshire, VC58, October 2023, D. Bentley
  • No British records on NBN Atlas or GBIF. Status unknown – no national recording scheme covering this group. Likely to be a first record for NW England.
  • A fresh water mite that predates Daphnia

Coleoptera (Beetles)

Hypera arator (Curculionidae), Abbots Moss, Winsford, VC58, 03/11 + Burton Mere, Neston, VC58, 28/11, C. Washington
Ryszard (CC BY-NC) – archive image
  • 292 total records from NBN Atlas. Scattered records across the Midlands and South of England, but more uniform along the coast of Wales. Records for the North are scarce.
  • For the region, there have been two records this month in VC58 with one prior record back in 1960.
  • This months individual was found in leaf litter.
  • Typically observed in meadows, floodplains, and sandy habitats.
Aleochara bilineata (Staphylinidae), Oglet, Liverpool, VC58, 10/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • 84 UK records, being the first record for the region.
  • Most records are found around the east of central and southern England. Minimal records for the North, but a few records for northern Scotland. As well as Europe, there have been observations in North America.
  • Found in strandline litter. They can be found in debris, decaying material, rocks compost, and near water.
  • Adults are predaceous but the larvae parasitic. Their hosts are pupae of insects among roots in the soil, that the larvae seek out once they hatch. The females usually lay around 700 eggs within one season, about 15 eggs per day.
Heterothops praevius (Staphylinidae), Stretton, Warrington, VC58, 14/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • 41 total records for the UK on NBN Atlas. A first record for VC58 and the rest of the North West. Found across the Palaearctic.
  • Widespread distribution across central England. There has been a recording as far north as Edinburgh.
  • Can be spotted amongst decaying leaf litter and in burrows made by small mammals.
Dacrila fallax (Staphylinidae) Burton Mere, Neston, VC58, 28/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • 187 total records on NBN Atlas for the UK. A first recording for VC58 and a second for the North West, with one prior in 1989 along the Sefton Coast. Most recordings appear to be around East Anglia.
  • They are native to Europe with a lot of records being located around Northern Europe.
  • Can be found in swamps and along banks.
Rabocerus gabrieli (Salpingidae), Marbury, VC58, 12/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • Western Palearctic species, considered local and uncommon in the UK being scattered across southern and eastern England. There have been a few recordings in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Only 3 previous records for the North West, contributing to the 45 total records for the UK on NBN Atlas.
  • Found in ground litter.
  • Normally occur in open deciduous woodland with adults being associated to decaying bark and wood, with various host trees.
  • Adults and larvae are predatory.
Holoparamecus caularum (Endomychidae), Stretton, Warrington, VC58, 14/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • Only 15 UK records on NBN Atlas, with one previous recording for VC58 from Combermere 2022 on iRecord. Most observations of this species have come from central England.
  • Can be spotted in Europe, North America, and Northern Asia.
  • Found in wayside grass heap. Associated with moulds.
Stricticollis tobias (Anthicidae), Eastham LNR, Wirral, VC58, 21/11, C. Washington
Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA) – archive image
  • 54 total records on NBN Atlas, including two in VC58 from 1962. Also, there has been 3 prior records for VC58 on iRecord.
  • Scarce and widespread records across east and central England.
  • A non-native species for the UK, originating from the tropics and Mediterranean. It is spreading throughout Europe.
  • Found in numbers within a woodchip heap, when they have been typically spotted as individuals. Associated with compost and rubbish piles.
Ceutorhynchus atomus (Curculionidae), Whitegates Way, Winsford, VC58, 03/11, C. Washington
  • 138 records in the UK, with only two previous recordings for the NW in 1950, Manchester.
  • Centralised populations in East Midlands and along the coast of Wales. Other records are scattered, with one being as far north as Edinburgh.
  • They are oligophagous, feeding on Brassicaceae with larvae eating the seeds.
Epuraea imperialis (Nitidulidae), Marbury, VC58, 12/11, C. Washington
  • One previous record in the UK from Cardiff on iRecord, making this the only other published site for this non-native species after it was first found at Marbury Park in 2022.
  • Originating from Australia and invaded New Zealand, they are spreading across West Europe after being introduced to Belgian and France.
  • Found amongst rotting apples.
Cryptopleurum subtile (Hydrophilidae), Stretton, Warrington, VC58, 14/11, C. Washington
  • 34 UK records according to NBN Atlas, and 2 observations on iRecord in VC58 making these the first recordings for the North West.
  • Most recordings for the country are located across Central England and Wales. There are patchy recordings for Europe but are common across the eastern Palaearctic region.
  • Found in a grass heap. Adults can be found year-round becoming active between late May till November.

Diptera (Flies)

Heteromyza oculata (Heleomyzidae), Roaches, Mossley, Greater Manchester, VC58, 08/11, S. Suttill
  • No VC58 records on NBN Atlas and iRecord but appears on the regional checklist (Brighton 2022 – last update 4 Dec 2023). There have been 4 prior records in VC59 included in 123 online UK records.
  • Found in Europe and North America.
  • The male has larger, holoptic eyes, which is unusual for Acalyptrate flies.
Xanthandrus comtus (Syphridae), Alexandra Park (male) + Maine Park (female), Crosby, VC59, 24/11, P. Kinsella
  • 218 UK records according to NBN Atlas and 22 recordings for the region on iRecord.
  • The Sefton Coast appears to be an important site for this species, with increasing records for this area compared to the rest of the North West, which is fairly scarce – 20 out of the 22 recordings are from the Sefton Coast.
  • Typically found between late May to October, but can be found overwintering. Occurs amongst the woodland edge and scrub. The larvae feed on various species of micro-moth caterpillars.
Helophilus pendulus (Syphridae), Maine Park, Crosby, VC59, 11/11, P. Kinsella
  • A notable mention due to how late the sighting is for the year.
Baccha elongata (Syphridae), Alexandra Park, Crosby, VC59, 18/11, P. Kinsella
  • Another species that has had a late appearance this year.

Hemiptera (True Bugs)

Gonocerus acuteangulatus (Coreidae), Alexandra Park, Crosby, VC59, 10/11, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • Only one previous record according to NBN Atlas and iRecord in North West England from 2020 in Bury, located within a garden centre.
  • Historically very rare, originally being restricted to Box Hill in Surrey. In recent years, it has expanded its distribution northwards and habitat range significantly.
  • Originally fed on the Box trees in Surrey, but has exploited new foodplants being found on hawthorn, buckthorn, plum trees, and yew.
  • Distinguished from the more common Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus) due to its narrower abdomen and sharper lateral edges on the pronotum. Nymphs exhibit a green abdomen.
Sigara iactans (Corixidae), West Cheshire, VC58, 04/11, D. Bentley
  • 80 records in the UK on NBN Atlas, being first reported in 2005 along the North Norfolk Coast. Now rapidly spreading west. This is the first occurrence for the North West.
  • Found in a range of habitats with a preference for areas with sparse vegetation and little organic matter. Observable year-round.
  • This species can only be distinguished via the male pala, with females being difficult to separate. It can be confused with Sigara falleni.
Acericerus heydenii (Cicadellidae), Alexandra Park, Crosby, VC59, 17/11, P. Kinsella
Peter Kinsella (CCO)
  • Second recording for the Sefton Coast this year. 128 total records for the UK according to NBN Atlas, including 12 records for the region on iRecord.
  • Widespread across the UK, being more uncommon further north but has been found as far as Edinburgh.
  • Associated with sycamore.
Delphacodes capnodes (Delphacidae), West Cheshire, VC58, October 2023, D. Bentley
Dave Bentley
  • New to VC58 and the region according to the new regional checklist (Fowler 2023).
  • National Status is Notable B (thought to occur in between 31 and 100 10km squares of the National Grid) but this group hasn’t recently been reviewed.
  • Found in a boggy carr with Sphagnum.
Issus coleoptratus (Issidae), Marbury Park, VC58, 12/11, C. Washington
Martin Cooper (CC-BY) – archive image
  • Nymphs found in Marbury. Five previous recordings across VC58-59 according to iRecord for 2022 and 2023, making this a very recent arrival to the North West.
  • They are fairly common for England, especially for the south east but more scarce for the north.
  • Adults can be found between June to November. They are usually encountered on a range of woody plants, most commonly deciduous trees.

Diplopoda (Millipedes)

Chordeuma proximum/sylvestre (Chordeumatidae), Holmeswood Road, Ormskirk, VC59, 04/11, S. Hartnett
Sean Hartnett (CC BY)
  • 4 records in total for this species aggregate, with 485 occurences of Chordeuma proximum in the UK including one record in the North West. 16 records of Chordeuma sylvestre according to NBN Atlas.
  • The two species can only be separated via the examination of the male gonopods.

Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)

Stigmella aceris (Nepticulidae), Orion Way, Orion Business Park, Crewe, VC58, 07/11, B. John-Paul
  • One of only a few known localities in Cheshire so far. 189 occurrences in the UK according to NBN Atlas.
  • Larvae feed on Field maple and Norway maple with debate about whether it feeds on sycamore.
  • Adults fly from May to June and again in August as a second generation in certain areas.
  • Formerly rare now becoming more frequent, spreading through central and south-east England.

Psocoptera (Barkflies)

Valenzuela atricornis (Caeciliusidae), West Cheshire, VC58, October 2023, D. Bentley
  • Appears to be a first record for VC58 and the region (as per iRecord, NBN Atlas, RECORD)
  • Feeds on Hawthorn and Willow.
  • Scattered records in England, the nearest being Shropshire.

iRecord records summary

GroupNo. of recordsNo. of species
insect – true fly (Diptera)11232
insect – hymenopteran3918
insect – beetle (Coleoptera)3811
spider (Araneae)2512
insect – true bug (Hemiptera)2214
insect – dragonfly (Odonata)162
harvestman (Opiliones)64

iRecord top 10 species

Scientific NameCommon NameOrderNo. of records
Harmonia axyridisHarlequin LadybirdColeoptera21
Eristalis tenaxDiptera14
Episyrphus balteatusMarmalade HoverflyDiptera13
Sympetrum striolatumCommon DarterOdonata10
Eristalis pertinaxDiptera10
Phytomyza ilicisHolly Leaf Gall FlyDiptera10
Andricus lignicolaCola-Nut GallHymenoptera8
Meliscaeva auricollisDiptera7
Aeshna mixtaMigrant HawkerOdonata6
Scathophaga stercorariaDiptera6
Nostoc communeNostocales6
Palomena prasinaGreen ShieldbugHemiptera6