Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Leaves of Grass

Crested Dog's Tail
Yorkshire Fog
False Oat Grass
Sweet Vernal Grass

No doubt many more species of grass on the reserve but one step at a time ...

Monday, 29 June 2015

Spider day, 27th June

Miraculously a sunny day on Saturday allowed us to sweep like maniacs across the reserve in between days of rain and sodden vegetation. At least a couple of new species were added to the reserve list, with Tetragnatha montana being added to its more common cousin T.extensa. Also after finding many immature Clubionid spiders this year finally an adult male "took one for the team" to get the species on the list - see below. I think we have one more mature female which may or may not turn out to be not this species.

Still in pots are various spider, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen, a millipede.

Clubiona lutescens - 1 m. adult
Tetragnatha extensa - several
Metallina mengei - several
Enoplognatha ovata - several
Xysticus cristatus (probably? I had no adults when checked)
Paidiscura (Theridion) pallens - 1 with egg puch under oak leaf in woodland
Philodromus aureolus - one mature f. swept from meadow grass. These things are FAST.
Linyphiids - several potted for later examination

Clubiona lutescens

Paidiscura pallens

Additional spiders (thx KB) added with a couple more still in pots

Clubiona compta f - NEW
Clubiona lutescens f - NEW
Tetragnatha montana mf - NEW
Hypomma bituberculum f - NEW
Gongylidium rufipes mf - NEW
Philodromus aureolus mf - NEW
Enoplognatha ovata m
Lepthyphantes obscurus f - NEW
Pardosa pullata f
Araniella sp., probably cucurbitina f
Microlinyphia pusillla f
Neriene montana f
Neriene peltata f
Linyphia hortensis f
Ceratinella brevipes f - NEW
Diplocephalus picinus f - NEW
Clubiona reclusa f
Dismodicus bifrons f - NEW
Agyneta conigera f - NEW
Maso sundevalli f - NEW
Tiso vagans m

Friday, 26 June 2015

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Heath Woodrush

A guest insert from Cowdenbeath. This lovely woodrush is one I've seen before in Dumfries and Galloway but the first time I've seen it in Fife

Miss Polly had a dolly

Dolichopodidae that is. A new fly for me but which species I don't know yet. Flashed past low in a streak of silver as the dusting on it's abdomen reflected the light. Very nice.

Argyra diaphana?

Monday, 8 June 2015

Beautiful Beetle

I struggle to get too enthusiastic about beetles but some are nevertheless irresistible. This is Cassida rubiginosa - Thistle Tortoise Beetle. It likes creeping thistle, of which the banking above the road at Cullaloe has an abundance. Nice colour matching, but I spotted it as an unusual bump on the leaf where it was sitting. Not many records for Fife and it's not that common in Scotland, getting less so the further north you travel.

Downlooker Snipefly

A fly that everyone can get to know and love - Rhagio scolopacea. This one in Dunfermline rather than Cullaloe, but a fan of sunny vertical surfaces, whether trees or offices

Friday, 5 June 2015

467 versus 392

On this date last year I was at species 392. Today I am species 467 with some pots to empty and identify. Much of the advance has been made in being able to quickly recognise species I recorded last year, which gave me a head start on looking for new things this year. Amazingly almost 100 of the species recorded to this point last year - fully a quarter, have not been recorded this year. Unsurprisingly many of these are bryophytes, since we covered the ground well with a team last year. Those bryopytes are still out there though, and I may try to tick a few off in the winter months.

Here's a selection from the burgeoning wildflower display today

Meadow Thistle


Blue Water Speedwell

Water Crowfoot

Cat's Ear

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Before the next outbreak of flies, a nice flower - silverweed

and a new addition to the reserve list - Russian Comfrey, a hybrid between Rough and Common comfreys which has apparently all but replaced Rough Comfrey. I guess the genes from Common were just what it needed.

More flies

Weather still not too great but still some flies are out and adding to the lists. Two new Empids yesterday - Empis tessellata and E.stercorea. Another E.tessellata was found in the pines this morning. Downlooker snipeflies are also around all over the place.

Empis tessellata

Downlooker Snipefly
I also found a new ladybird for the reserve yesterday - a Cream Spot

Also this morning the first sight of 6 brand new Mute Swans, though I didn't hava camera which could capture them at the other side of the pond

Monday, 1 June 2015

My first Pipunculid!

Well, not my first but the other wasn't identified. Thanks to some expert assistance this fly was identified as Dorylomorpha extricata. It was found on a leaf in the woodland. There aren't many records for Scotland and it seems none until now for Fife.

Nice website for Pipulculids here: http://davidjgibbs.webs.com/pipunculidae.htm