2014 Insect report!

In general recorded insects have had an average year however, this is possibly not a true reflection due to only a few August field trips been conducted due other commitments.

I have local concerns about the decline of our native Ladybirds following the movement north of the harlequin ladybird first recorded in the UK in 2004 http://www.harlequin-survey.org.  Whilst I have only recently started to record Ladybirds (so their true ) status cannot be judged it seems native ones are hard to find whereas the harlequin is now common.  Macro Moths did very well with a number of new species recorded.  Whilst butterfly species recorded were static numbers certain species were recorded in low numbers.  Some Dragonflies did really well like the Azure and Large Red whilst the Common damselfly was not recorded this year.

Butterflies

Although 14 different species were recorded in general species like the Meadow Brown, Comma and Orange Tip were all down in numbers. The Ringlet however, did really well with 127 recorded at Toad Holes Beck on 11/7 and a number of breeding pairs were also observed. The Speckled Wood which is normally very common was not as abundant in 2014 and Common Blues were again hard to find.  The status of the Small Skipper remained unchanged but records of the Large Skipper were down to singles.  The Small Tortoiseshell showed slight signs of recovery and the White butterflies particularly the Small were recorded in reasonable numbers.

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Green-veined White at Caldene Fields

A visit to the nearby old Odsal tip site revealed a number of Small Heath but as yet none have been recorded in our area.

Dragonflies

Dragonflies numbers and species appear to have been affected by the overgrown weeds and reclaiming of the pond by plants and grasses at Raw Nook NR.  The Common Damselfly which bred at the site was not recorded due to this factor. However, the Azure Damselfly must like this bog type of habitat as a record count of 200+ were observed at the site on 1st of July. Sightings of mating Large Red Damselflies were up on previous year. A male Emperor Dragonfly was at Raw Nook NR pond in mid July.

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Azure Damselfly egg laying at Toad Holes beck

Moths

Moth trapping started late this year in May through till October and 98 species were recorded of which 16 were new species for the site.  This is slightly down on last year total of 119 however, the trap was on from March though to October in 2013. The Red Underwing and the Old Lady were found at Raw Nook NR which means the species are present at both Caldene Fields and Raw Nook NR.  The total number of marco Moth species recorded in our area now stands at 189.

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Polar Hawkmoth at Caldene Fields

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