Sunday, 30 October 2016
Friday, 28 October 2016
The image on the left shows the 6MP version and that on the right the 18MP one. It is much clearer on my computer of course as the image has lost resolution dropping it here. I can see the microscopic surface texture of the underside of the head and prosternum and the mentum (the structure between the base of the antennae) is much clearer including the tiny central tooth. I've placed two other photos of the beetle in my Bradycellus key online.
To the mystery of how it ended up in a kitchen storage box. The beetle keys to Bradycellus verbasci, a common species with over 1600 records on the National Biodiversity Network site including our grid square. My notes say that it is attracted to light so it must have come inside during the late summer and accidentally got stuck in the cupboard.
Monday, 9 May 2016
I have tried to find the mousetail (Myosurus minimus) on two occasions so far. Last year I tried a location near Hartley Wintney and couldn't find it. This year I tried a known site near Plastow Green but may have been too early.
On a walk with the grandchildren from North Warnborough to Odiham along the canal and back on a footpath across the fields we came across a water trough in the middle of an area of pasture which had been well trodden by cattle the previous autumn. I had walked through this field last summer and had considered it suitable habitat for the mousetail. I was delighted to find not one but hundreds of plants in an area about 15 metres by 15 metres. Although inconspicuous, once you got your eye in the grandchildren were well able to spot the plants.
|Myosurus minimus near North Warnborough|
My granddaughter also spotted a bug crossing the path which turned out to be the first time I'd seen a member of family Cydnidae. Identification to family is straightforward with the spines along the legs. I decided to produce a key for this family which is now published here https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeyshymenoptera/Home/hemiptera/key-to-the-british-species-of-family-cydnidae. The species was one of the commoner ones in the family, Legnotus limbosus, associated with bedstraws. The closest of these was in the nearby hedge.
Saturday, 27 February 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
I have also made adjustments to the key to Chrysomelinae to accommodate Paropsisterna selmani - a pest of Eucalyptus which has fairly recently been found in Great Britain.
The members of family Ptiliidae are mostly very small and include our smallest species, the recently discovered Baranowskiella ehnstromi. The key posted at https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeys/Home/keys-to-coleoptera/keys-for-the-identification-of-british-ptiliidae should allow you to get some way with identification but you will certainly need a good microscope with good lighting. Happy identifying and do let me know how you get on - positive or negative points.
Saturday, 20 February 2016
Peter Hodge kindly drew my attention to an error in the Cryptocephalinae key (Chrysomelidae) in that I had illustrated a couplet 8 under Cryptocephalus showing colour forms that only occurred on the continent. This has now been amended with a new version published and illustrations of the male aedeagus included which are an important feature in separating Cryptocephalus bipunctatus and C. biguttatus.
At the meeting I found that a number of people were using the keys on the website so I made requests for feedback of the kind and quality that Peter offered.
Monday, 8 February 2016
Having discovered a paper written by Zerova & Seryogina (2005) entitled Review of Palearctic Ormyridae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) with description of two new species I decided to produce an illustrated key just for our four species. Having done this I sought the permission of one of the authors (M.D.Zarova) to publish this on my website and she was happy for me to do so. So if you have some specimens of this family do have a go with the key, published at https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeyshymenoptera/Home/hymenoptera/apocrita-parasitica/keys-to-superfamily-chalcidoidea.
While checking the identification of some other beetles for a research project in Ireland I had a bit of time left so looked over the specimens of Histeridae curated by the Hampshire Cultural Trust's entomology department at Winchester. This resulted in my being able to clarify some of the couplets in the Histeridae key so this has been updated.
Friday, 29 January 2016
Off to Dinton Pastures tomorrow for a day identifying Tachinidae (Diptera). Should be good as I love learning from entomologists who know so much more than me.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Keys to coleoptera (beetles)
Still at the original site https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeys/. I am working on some other family keys at the moment and on keys from order to family to access the rest of the site.
These are published at https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeys2. The keys here will be increased over time. This was the order in which my interest in entomology started. I have keys at home for all British families but have published relatively few.
Keys to hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and other orders
Now published at https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeyshymenoptera/. I have done some work on some families of superfamily Chalcidoidea and on sawflies.
I am sorry that this is not at all ideal but until I buy my own web space this is how it will need to be.
Many thanks to those of you that have given me feedback. Many have said they are finding the keys useful but I'd really love to have specific points so that the keys can be improved. I have described the keys as working documents so whenever things are pointed out I update the key and republish it.