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Saturday, 14 August 2010

14/8/10: Bookham, Wisley for Orthoptera

Another LNHS jaunt, this time to Bookham in Surrey. This event was primarily aimed at showing people unusual Grasshoppers and Crickets. Given that the site has long been studied by the Society, I'm only going to mention species that were new to me or relatively unusual.

The first thing that was unusual for me was the very large extent of Common Fleabane, especially in the area not far from the railway line.

A plant new to me was Red Bartsia.

Orthoptera found were:

I found a Cryptocephalus beetle on a Thistle flower head, which is being looked at by an expert. He says that if it's C.aureolus, there is just a single record in 1944. If it's one of the other species, it will be a new addition to the site list.

Sarah Barnes, Tristan Bantock and Mick Massie sweep Willow succesion in wet mud around the 'Isle of Wight' pond

This pond contained a large amount of Bogbean, and in the mud had the troublesome alien invader Crassula helmsii (pictured above)

Woundwort Shieldbug and a nymph of the Shieldbug Troilus luridus were shown to me by other participants. A Great Crested Newt was found under arock, and various dead wood specialist insects under the bark of felled Oak.

Wisley heathland - near to the Royal Horticultural society gardens

The target at Wisley was Wood Cricket (Nemobius sylvestris) - only found in a handful of places in the country. In a stroke of 'beginner's luck' I found the species almost as soon as we'd come out of the car park, through some trees and onto the open heath. Picture by field trip leader Sarah Barnes here:

Besides the Heather, Erica tetralix was also in bloom.

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