Thursday, September 23, 2021

Suffolk Part 2.

 As I have said in the previous post, while pottering around the Suffolk Sandlings area doing the tourist thing, visiting Southwold, Walberswick, Aldeburgh etc a few other creatures of interest to a Northern Naturalist were discovered. In no particular order here are a few..

Many of us who use a moth trap are familiar with a wide range of Ophions or Ichneumon species. They range from orangy yellow to black and white things and are generally tricky to id. Some just stand out from the crowd. This Enicospilus inflexus is one such specimen. Looking at the photo you might shrug and think you've had loads like that, but in life I had never seen anything like it that was quite so big. It was huge. You can almost make out that it was bigger than a cranefly and in flight was like a Common Darter. Apparently it is a parasite of the large Eggar / Drinker type moths. I wish I had taken its photo with a good size comparison now. On Google, sites show it to be quite sparsely distributed, but that is maybe due to a lack of recorders rather than it being a rare insect. Impressive.

Above, another parasitoid, Ichneumon sarcitorius was contrastingly, very common with up to half a dozen in the trap every night. I dont see these in the trap at home. Smart little things, unless you are a moth.

Finally for the hymenoptera were the Hornets around the garden. I like to catch up with them when we are here and they did enjoy the moth sugar. They were quite defensive towards trespassers such as Red Admirals who would be chased off by a short wing flicking open jawed charge from the Hornet. They're like terriers....


This large, blackcurrant Fruit Gum lookalike beetle Chrysolina banksii was quite a good record too. I dont really do beetles as they mostly need a microscope but this one was id'd from the Facebook beetle page. 

Dark Bush Crickets are common and can be heard stridulating from bushes under street lights and in gardens etc. There are no Bush Crickets in Northumberland.

Oak Bush Cricket was new to me found on the kitchen window attracted to the light. This one is a male. Smart.

A special visit to Carlton Marshes was required to see this one, the rare Fen Raft Spider, Dolomedes plantarius. We found three in a nicely vegetated ditch near the visitor centre. It is only found in 3 UK locations. This one can be seen with its feet on the water surface feeling for the vibrations of insect prey using it a bit like a web.

While we were here Wasp Spider was seen along with Brown Hawkers and Chinese Water Deer.

Chinese Water Deer looking more like a dog than most deer.

Then we come to some odds and sods - Bugs. True Bugs, not that Americanised slang for insects. 

Ant Damsel Bug.

Dock Bug final instar nymph.

Hawthorn Shieldbug 

To end with, although there wasn't much birding to be had, a morning on the heath with a flock of 8 calling Stone Curlews and a dozen Dartford Warblers is always appreciated.

A ringed Dartford Warbler, Dunwich.


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