Tremough Bioblitz 2016

Yesterday was the day of our own #Bioblitz2016 here on campus. The day was filled with insect surveys, moth trapping, birding walks, sweep netting, pond dipping, bird ringing, bat recording and a host of activities indoors for those not so keen to brave the less-than-optimum conditions!

Despite the wet and somewhat breezy conditions to start the day off, the weather improved as the day progressed, and it turned out to be an immensely enjoyable, if a little exhausting, event! We recorded in excess of 250 species, although we are still working on the final tally. All species seen and identified were entered into the ‘ERCCIS‘ database – that is, the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Our various activities during the day yielded some smart species, and it was great to get a good crowd of public visitors joining in with the surveys and learning about the importance of the natural world and recording everything you see! I have tried to include some of the highlights below, although they predominantly take the form of insects, as photographing birds was a little tricky in the wet weather. Please keep an eye on the Bioblitz page for more updates and hopefully a video overviewing the day’s events…

The Bioblitz here on Tremough campus has been running for three years now, and is a great opportunity to discover the wealth of fauna and flora inhabiting our university grounds.
A selection of images from the day:
Cardinal Beetle! (and #Bioblitz promo!)
A new one for me, and arguably the highlight of the insect side of things: Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)

Sweep netting for insects in the upper fields of campus

Will getting a closer look at an Andrena mining bee for a positive ID
There was a good turn out of people and students for some of the events. The bird ringing was, predictably, one of the most popular, and it was therefore a relief that the weather played ball in the end. We managed to catch 12 birds in total, including a Greenfinch and a Coal Tit

Aedeagus is the word…a tricky Wolf Spider proving hard to identify

Hair Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum)
White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis)
Muslin Moth – amongst a handful of lepidoptera species recorded from the traps

A smart Red Weevil (Apion frumentarium) 

An Owl Midge of some description (Psychodidae sp.)

Rhingia campestris fly
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophagus stercorarius)

Green Dock Beetles (Gastrophysa viridula) – the lower individual is a female bursting with eggs!

One that has evaded identification so far…any help appreciated

 An assasin-like Bug, possibly Stenodema calcarata

Horsehair Worm – a bizarre worm whose larvae parasitise arthropods like Beetles, Crustaceans and Orthopterans (Grasshoppers)

A very smart Harvestman which I have never before seen: Nemastoma bimaculatum
In the evening we headed down to the nearby reservoirs, where we used bat detectors to reveal the presence of both Common and Soprano Pipistrelles, whilst the high-flying Noctules produced their audible echolocation calls overhead

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