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Entomological Report for 2009

Andrew Grayson

Our recording area’s entomological records for the year 2009 were far too numerous for inclusion in their entirety within this report; therefore, emphasis is generally given to species which are local and uncommon, or rarely found. I spent much of 2009 outside the Ryedale Natural History Society area, yet was able to complete much field-work within the area, and consequently produced numerous entomological records. Furthermore, the society’s members have made good use of its website for entering their insect records and observations, and Gill Smith [GS] has once again been actively recording in the Gilling area and elsewhere; and promptly submitted her list during the society’s December meeting.

I was unable to attend any of the society’s outdoor Spring and Summer meetings during 2009, but did attend the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union’s vice-county 62 excursion to Castle Howard Arboretum on 15.5.2009. The Arboretum is bisected by the southern boundary line of our recording area, so strictly speaking, although I recorded a long list of species as a result of the day’s field-work, only those recorded during a few minutes spent at Atkinson’s Bog (SE705700) were actually from within our recording area. My list for the margins of Atkinson’s Bog comprised the following frequently-occurring Diptera species: the soldier-flyBeris chalybata(which was numerous throughout the grounds of Castle Howard Arboretum on 15.5.2009), the empid Rhamphomyia albohirta, and the hoverflies Cheilosia albitarsis[sensu stricto], Cheilosia antiqua, Cheilosia fraterna, Melanogaster hirtella, Neoascia tenur, Eristalis intricariusand Syritta pipiens.

In 2009, our recording area was included in a 3-day visit by the national society called Dipterists Forum; during which they made excursions to Fen Bog, Seive Dale Fen and Sand Dale. The Dipterists Forum had intended to use Pickering as their base, but accommodation costs were prohibitive, so they stayed in Scarborough, and mainly visited Scarborough area sites. I travelled from Bradford to join my Dipterists Forum friends on two days of exceptionally fine weather, the first being 30.5.2009, when I found several species of hoverfly at the northern end of Fen Bog, including Eristalis horticola, Sericomyia silentis, and Cheilosia fraterna, which was numerous by Eller Beck Bridge (SE858982). The following day at Seive Dale Fen, I took the very local soldier-fly Oxycera pygmaea. This species was also taken by Malcolm Smart according to the Bulletin of the Dipterists Forum no. 68 page 21, which also reported that the visit to Seive Dale Fen on 31.5.2009 had yielded the scarce Yorkshire empid Rhamphomyia plumipes. Cranefly Recording Scheme Newsletter no. 19 was contained within the aforementioned Bulletin, and in this newsletter, John Kramer reported he found the uncommon crane-flies Dicranota guerini, Limonia dilutator and Molophilus propinquus by Eller Beck on Goathland Moor near Fen Bog (SE8598) on 30.5.2009.

Over recent years, the promotion of Dalby Forest for leisure purposes has completely destroyed its former tranquillity; hence I rarely go to Dalby Forest nowadays, but did so on several occasions during 2009. On 13.7.2009, I met my good friend Roy Crossley at Seive Dale Fen (in SE8587) and later we visited the nearby Sand Dale area (SE8584 & SE8585). My list for Seive Dale Fen on 13.7.2009 included the hoverflies Ferdinandea cuprea and Xylota sylvarum, plus the soldier-flies Oxycera nigricornis, Oxycera rara and Odontomyia hydroleon. The last-mentioned species is not known to occur elsewhere in England. My list for Sand Dale on 13.7.2009 included the soldier-flies Oxycera rara and Stratiomys potamida, plus the horseflies Haematopota crassicornis, Hybomitra distinguenda and Tabanus sudeticus. Further returns to Dalby Forest yielded the following scarce hoverflies: Arctophila superbiens from Seive Dale Fen and Sand Dale on 9.8.2009; Didea fasciata from Sand Dale on 9.8.2009 and 13.8.2009; Eriozona syrphoides numerous along a woodland ride at Sand Dale (SE859849) on 13.8.2009, together with Scaeva selenitica; and Helophilus hybridus from Sand Dale on 25.8.2009.

I recorded a number of other rare, scarce or interesting Diptera during his 2009 walks within the Ryedale Natural History Society’s recording area; these included the following species: Criorhina berberina from Scorbern Plantation, Beadale Wood (SE776876) on 19.5.2009; Criorhina asilica and Ferdinandea cuprea from Hold Cauldron (SE664869) on 8.6.2009; Portevinia maculata from Beadale Wood (SE772867) on 19.5.2009 and Howldale Head Wood, Appleton-le-Moors (SE742873) on 25.5.2009; Ferdinandea cuprea from Nawton (SE658852) on 18.5.2009 and Robin Hood’s Howl (SE682689) on 21.4.2009; Chrysotoxum arcuatum from by Ouse Gill, Rudland (SE639947) on 30.7.2009; Leucozona laternaria from Ashberry Pasture (SE567847) on 3.8.2009; Leucozona lucorum from near Nunnington (SE652797) on 12.5.2009 and Stables Wood, Sinnington (SE746865) on 22.6.2009; Oxycera pygmaea from Blaiskey Bank (SE625887) on 1.6.2009; Oxycera nigricornis, Haematopota crassicornis and Tabanus maculicornis from Ashberry Pasture (SE567847) on 14.7.2009; and Sargus iridatus from Nawton (SE658852) on 18.5.2009.

As always, the society’s members’ entomological records and observations were heavily-biased towards the butterflies, and a bumper crop of records were produced during 2009. The less-common species reported included Callophrys rubi (Green Hairstreak) from Rosedale East (NZ693006) on 12.5.2009; and a colony of Boloria selene (Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary) at Darnholm, near Goathland on 21.6.2009 by Andy Malley. According to Gill Smith, good numbers of Argynnis aglaja (Dark Green Fritillary) andMelanargia galathea (Marbled White) were seen in Gundale on 19.7.2009. Amongst the species I recorded were Satyrium w-album (White-letter Hairstreak) from near Park Gate, Pickering (SE814857) on 7.8.2009, and Aricia agestis (Brown Argus) from Sand Dale (SE857848) on 25.8.2009. Of the migratory species: Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) occurred with us in unusual abundance during 2009, whearas only singletons of Vanessa atalanta (Red Admiral) were reported from Gilling (SE6176) on 31.8.2009 by Gill Smith, and Seive Dale Fen (SE855874) on 9.8.2009 by me.

Pararge aegeria (Speckled Wood) has become common in our recording area during recent years, and it continued to spread to new localities during 2009. Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone) was also regularly recorded, and from some new localities. The writer noted it at Howldale Head Wood (SE739875) on 25.5.2009, and saw several in Sand Dale (SE8584 & SE8585) on 13.8.2009. Gill Smith saw it in Gilling (SE6176) on 15.3.2009, and at Robson’s Spring (SE6281) on 24.5.2009. Jim Pewtress saw it in Kirkbymoorside (SE698864) on 5.4.2009, and Swineherd Lane, Kirkbymoorside (SE704872) on 25.4.2009.

A few of the more distinctive moths reported were: Deilephila elpenor (Elephant Hawk-moth) from Sykes House, Rudland (SE664917) on 6.7.2009 by Tom and Janet Denney; Pavonia pavonia (Emperor Moth) from Rosedale East (SE695997) on 22.4.2009; Tyria jacobaeae (Cinnabar Moth) from Howkeld Mill (SE6885) on 26.7.2009 by Jim Pewtress; Abraxas grossulariata (Magpie Moth) from a Pickering hedgerow (SE8083) on 14.8.2009 by Lindsay Wardell; and Zygaena filipendulae (Six-spot Burnet) which was photographed in Gundale on 19.7.2009.

Most of the society’s dragonfly and damselfly records for 2009 came from either Gilling Lake [sensu lato] (SE5975 or adjacent 1km squares), or the vicinity of the large pond in Sand Dale (SE858848). The records were: Enallagma cyathigerum (Common Blue Damselfly): Gilling Lake, 2.6.2009, GS; Sand Dale, 21.6.2009, GS, 13.7.2009, 9.8.2009, AG. Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Large Red Damselfly): Ashberry Pasture, (SE568847), 27.6.2009, AG; Eller Beck, Fen Bog, (SE857983), 30.5.2009, AG; Gilling Lake, 2.6.2009, GS; Pickering, (SE7984), 17.5.2009, Lindsay Wardell; Sand Dale, 21.6.2009, GS, 13.7.2009, AG. Ischnura elegans (Blue-tailed Damselfly): Gilling Lake, 2.6.2009, GS; Goathland, NZ8200, 1.8.2009, GS. Lestes sponsa (Emerald Damselfly): Sand Dale, 13.7.2009, 9.8.2009, AG. Aeshna cyanea (Southern Hawker): Cawthorne, (SE782897), 15.7.2009, AG; Gilling Lake, 26.9.2009, GS; Sand Dale, 9.8.2009, 25.8.2009, AG. Aeshna juncea (Common Hawker): Gilling Woods, (SE5976), 11.7.2009, GS; Gilling Lake, 15.8.2009, GS; Rudland Rigg, (SE6595), 22.8.2009, GS. Aeshna grandis (Brown Hawker): Gilling Lake, 15.8.2009, 26.9.2009, GS; Sand Dale, 9.8.2009, 25.8.2009, AG. Cordulegaster boltonii (Golden-ringed Dragonfly): Darnholm, near Goathland, 21.6.2009, Andy Malley; Sand Dale, 13.7.2009, AG. Libellula depressa (Broad-bodied Chaser): Gilling Lake, 2.6.2009, GS. Sympetrum sanguineum (Ruddy Darter): Sand Dale, 9.8.2009, AG. Sympetrum striolatum (Common Darter): Gilling Lakes, 26.9.2009, GS; Sand Dale, 9.8.2009, 25.8.2009, AG.

Other insects I recorded included a worker of the social wasp Dolichovespula media from Stables Wood, Sinnington (SE746865) on 22.6.2009, and the beetles Rhagium mordax from Blaiskey Bank (SE625887) on 1.6.2009; Strangalia maculata from Ashberry Pasture (SE568847) on 27.6.2009 and 14.7.2009; and Strangalia quadrifasciata from Seive Dale Fen on 9.8.2009 and Sand Dale on 13.7.2009 and 9.8.2009.

© Andrew Grayson & Ryedale Natural History Society 2010 Back to the Annual Report Contents and Home page