Sunday, 27 June 2010

All new species

When I started to formally record wildlife about 7 years ago, everything was new to my species list. As I added more groups such as fungi and lichens, the number continued to grow steadily. Then it levelled out and I usually add around 2-3 new species per month. This year, however, the weather has been much dryer than usual and I'm seeing new species almost every day.

This page contains only species that are new to me in the last couple of days.

This hoverfly caught my attention as it just seemed 'different': that metallic glow on the scutellum and head was shinier than I'd seen before. Turns out it's Platycheirus rosarum, which is not scarce, but never numerous:

This moth, however, is genuinely scarce. It's the Poplar Lutestring - Tethea or, which is confined to Aspen. This is one of a couple of Irish records since it was rediscovered near here in 2008. Its scarcity isn't assisted by the lack of Aspen in this area, but strangely it isn't found in the south of the country where Aspen would be more common.

Note: this is a very atypical specimen with weak markings.

This micromoth is also either new to the county or new to the country. We've narrowed it down to one of two species, but further help has been requested. I'll put up the final identification when it arrives:
( Candidates are new-to-Ireland Swammerdamia compunctella, which feeds on Hawthorn and Rowan, or the new-to-Donegal, gloriously-named Paraswammerdamia albicapitella, which is a Blackthorn feeder. Hawthorn was adjacent, Blackthorn about 500m away).

This large beetle was crossing the path as we walked along. It's Phosphuga atrata, which is a carrion beetle, eating snails, insects and earthworms:

I don't often find new plants these days, but I noticed this Pond Water Crowfoot - Ranunculus peltatus - in the river Foyle as I waited for a bus to arrive:
The pear-shaped nectar guide, which is one of the diagnostic features, can clearly be seen on the closest petal.

So that's 5 new species in two days.

1 comment:

Gill said...

Fantastic. I'd never realised quite how much yellow there is in the middle of a water crowfoot - mind you I'm not familiar with this species.

That's a lovely little micro.