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by Andrew Greyson

Since my previous report (in the 1997 Newsletter) no entomological records have been received from R.N.H.S. members. This lack of records is perhaps not such a bad thing as since moving house and becoming self-employed in the mid-1990s I seem to have no spare time, and have had to neglect my entomological interests along with many others. At a R.N.H.S. meeting a couple of years ago Philip Bowes mentioned to me that he had seen several blue-tailed dragonflies at Fen Bog that he suspected were Libellula fulva. I explained that this would be a very unlikely species at Fen Bog because it is a rare southern species in England, though locally common where it occurs along ditches and river banks by such rivers as the Cambridgeshire Ouse: nevertheless any blue-tailed dragonfly at Fen Bog would be very interesting.

Orthetrum coerulescens is on the species list for Fen Bog, but from an unknown source; moreover I had never seen O. coerulescens at Fen Bog, nor would I really expect it to occur there, but this could well be the blue-tailed species Philip had seen. On 19.7.99 I paid my first visit to Fen Bog for several years. At the western edge of the bog were several male blue-tailed dragonflies, one of which was netted and proved to be Orthretrum coerulescens. The habitat at Fen Bog is suitable, but the species is very isolated at this site: Orthretrum coerulescens is locally common on southern English heathland but is only known from a few sites in northwestern England otherwise.

In a previous report (in the Spring 1993 Newsletter) I mentioned that four species of butterfly had spread and become more common in our local area over the last few years: I suspect that many of you will have seen these recently. One species Celeastrina argiolus (Holly Blue) has become scarcer since the early 1990s, but it is still present in Ryedale. The other three species, Polygonia c-album (Comma), Pyronia tithonus (Gatekeeper or Hedge Brown) and Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone) continue to spread and increase in numbers.

If you happen to see a very large hornet-sized wasp this could well be a queen of Dolichovespula media which was first recorded in Britain only twenty years ago, but has spread rapidly northwards and is becoming more common in our area.

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