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Entomological Report for 2010

Andrew Grayson

The society’s combined entomological records for the year 2010 were too numerous for complete inclusion within this report, and as always, butterflies dominated the records. I have received species lists from Tom and Janet Denney, Gill Smith and Michael Thompson; furthermore, the following others have entered their records and observations onto the society’s website: Lesley Hughes, Jonathan Pomroy, Andy Malley, Jim Pewtress and Marian Tierney. Despite living in Kirkbymoorside throughout 2010, my work on entomological projects outside our recording area meant I had little spare time. I was mainly confined to indoor-work, and, ironically; I managed far less fieldwork in Ryedale during 2010, than during the previous three years, when I was living in York and Bradford.


I attended the society’s ‘Flower Walk’ in Bransdale on 2.5.2010, which was a bitterly cold and windy day, punctuated by showers and hail-stones; hence insects were very scarce, as were the attendees. Apart from the writer, only Gill Smith and Nan Sykes turned up. A queen of the bumblebee Bombus lucorum was active in SE6198, and I took the following common British flies: Dilophus febrilis and Sylvicola punctatus, both at SE622973, and Melanostoma mellinum at SE620973 and SE622982.

I also attended the meeting at Filey Brigg, which is obviously outside our recording area, on 31.7.2010, where the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Sue Hull led the party of Ryedale naturalists on an interesting and educational investigation of natural organisms inhabiting the shore-line region. The local weather was cool and overcast with strong winds, and insects were most noticeable on flowers of Daucus carota (Wild Carrot) [thanks to Nan Sykes for the identification] on the crumbling cliff at TA129815. I took the following insects from Daucus: the hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, which was present in abundance, plus the hoverflies Eupeodes corollae, Scaeva pyrastri and Syrphus vitripennis, the picture-winged fly Herina lugubris, the bluebottle Calliphora vicina, and the parasitic-fly Eriothrix rufomaculata. Also on the crumbling cliff at TA129815 were Autographa gamma (Silver Y Moth), the beetle Rhagonycha fulva, single queens of the bumblebees Bombus lapidarius and Bombus terrestris, workers of Bombus pascuorum, and caterpillars of Tyria jacobaeae (Cinnabar) on Senecio jacobaea (Ragwort). There were many kelp-flies around dry rotting seaweed at the base of the cliff at TA132814. I took just 4 specimens but this small sample comprised both European species of kelp-fly, viz. Coelopa frigida and Coelopa pilipes.

The Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union held their 2010 vice-county 62 meeting in Dalby Forest. Unfortunately, this was the only 2010 Y.N.U. v.c. meeting that I was unable to attend, but I did manage to spend a couple of hours at Seive Dale Fen in Dalby Forest on 19.8.2010.

Survey at Byland Abbey

During 2010, Wold Ecology engaged me in a survey project on behalf of English Heritage at Byland Abbey (mainly in SE549789). The resultant invertebrate list stood at exactly 150 species at the time of writing [23.1.2011] and included the local hoverflies Chrysogaster cemiteriorum, Eristalis abusivus, Platycheirus rosarum and Riponnensia splendens. The robber-flies Dioctria rufipes and Dioctria atricapilla occurred in the wetter rank grassland adjacent to the abbey ruins. Soldier-flies were fairly plentiful and the following were found: Beris chalybata, Beris vallata, Chloromyia formosa, Microchrysa cyaneiventris, Microchrysa flavicornis, Nemotelus nigrinus, Sargus flavipes and Sargus iridatus. An unexpected find was the ground-hopper Tetrix subulata which has been spreading northwards in Britain during recent years. The Coleoptera list included the ground beetles Amara familiaris, Amara plebeja, Anisodactylus binotatus and Poecilus versicolor, but undoubtedly the most interesting beetle was Agapanthia villosoviridescens. The Hymenoptera list included the spider-hunting wasp Priocnemis perturbator from rank grassland in SE549788, and the bees Andrena haemorrhoa, which was numerous amongst the rank grassland, and Andrena nigroaenea which was numerous around the abbey ruins.


Most of the society’s dragonfly and damselfly records for 2010 resulted from Gill Smith’s recording at Gilling Lake [sensu lato] (SE5975 or adjacent 1km squares within Gilling Woods). Gill’s records included a male Calopteryx splendens (Banded Demoiselle) at the middle lake on 26.6.2010, and Aeshna grandis (Brown Hawker) on 10.7.2010, 17.7.2010, 24.7.2010, 7.8.2010 and finally on 14.8.2010 when Gill reported “Masses – at least 6 seen at once, especially at bottom lake”.

Gill Smith’s records also included Cordulegaster boltonii (Golden-ringed Dragonfly) from a verge at Raindale (SE8092) on 11.7.2010 with the comment “Two or three – also seen in Raygate Slack”, and, on the same day, a male Enallagma cyathigerum (Common Blue Damselfly) at Stony Moor (SE8091).

Mary Rowlands reported seeing a dragonfly at boggy ground at the south-western side of Russell’s Wood at Hartoft on 3.7.2010. From Mary’s description, I have no doubt the species was Cordulegaster boltonii (Golden-ringed Dragonfly). This large dragonfly was also reported from Fen Bog (SE8597) on 27.6.2010 by Andy Malley, who also recorded Orthetrum coerulescens (Keeled Skimmer) on the same occasion.


21 species of butterfly were reported within the boundaries of our recording area. Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) was not seen within the strict confines of our recording area, but Gill Smith saw it at Whitwell (SE7166) on 24.6.2010, 30.6.2010, 10.8.2010, and (SE7265) 17.8.2010. As was also the case during recent years, Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone) was seen widely. It was reported from Ampleforth (SE587787) by Jonathan Pomroy, Kirkdale (SE672868) by Marian Tierney, Slingsby (SE698754) by Michael Thompson, and from Gilling (SE614769) and Gilling Woods (SE5976) by Gill Smith.

The distinctly local butterflies recorded were thus: Erynnis tages (Dingy Skipper) at Ellerburn Bank (SE853848) on 2.6.2010 by Michael Thompson; Callophrys rubi (Green Hairstreak) in Easterside (SE554906) on 23.4.2010 by Marian Tierney, and in Ouse Gill (SE640945) on 19.5.2010 by Tom and Janet Denney; Melanargia galathea (Marbled White) from ‘Orchid field’ at Yatts (SE8088) on 12.7.2010 by Gill Smith; Boloria selene (Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary) and Coenonympha tullia (Large Heath) at Fen Bog (SE8597) on 27.6.2010 by Andy Malley.

Moths recorded during 2010 included a Macroglossum stellatarum (Humming-bird Hawk-moth) which was seen by Michael Thompson in his garden in Slingsby (SE698754) on 1.8.2010; Diachrysia chrysitis (Burnished Brass) and Plusia festucae (Gold Spot) which I took at Seive Dale Fen (SE855874) on 19.8.2010; Odezia atrata (Chimney Sweeper) seen in fields adjacent to Sykes House (SE664917) by Tom and Janet Denney on 15.6.2010, and also in the field north of Kirkdale Minster (SE6785) on 26.6.2010 by Gill Smith; Eurrhypara hortulana (Small Magpie) on Gill Smith’s bathroom wall in Gilling (SE614769) on 5.6.2010; and Ourapteryx sambucaria (Swallow-tail Moth) in my house in Kirkbymoorside (SE697863) on 7.7.2010. Note that some moths are also mentioned elsewhere in this report.


The distinctive hoverfly Portevinia maculata was seen in numbers on leaves of Allium ursinum (Ramsons) in Rievaulx Terrace Woods (SE5784) on 22.5.2010 by Gill Smith. My visit to Seive Dale Fen (SE855874) on 19.8.2010 produced the following list: Dilophus febrilis, Hybos culiciformis, Empis livida, Dolichopus trivialis, Platycheirus granditarsus, Platycheirus peltatus, Episyrphus balteatus, Eupeodes luniger, Meliscaeva cinctella, Syrphus vitripennis, Cheilosia pagana, Cheilosia scutellata, Rhingia campestris, Eristalis horticola, Eristalis tenax, Helophilus hybridus, Helophilus pendulus, Sericomyia silentis and Mesembrina meridiana.

In July 2010, Don Smith forwarded a photograph which showed a female soldier-fly Oxycera rara [det. A. G.]. The photograph was taken by Daniel Mengella; according to Don, presumably from his reedy and wet-edged garden pond in Great Smeaton, north of our recording area. Note that Diptera are also mentioned elsewhere in this report.

Other Orders

Records were unremarkable overall and too numerous to enumerate. Note that some species are mentioned elsewhere in this report.

© Andrew Grayson & Ryedale Natural History Society 2011 Back to the Annual Report Contents and Home page