Autumn is here RA1

Autumn is now here and most hymenoptera are gone, my last walk I saw very few bees at all, Hornets and wasps were plentiful as their colonies are now at full strength. Loads of ladybirds around especially if you use a sweep net.

Crossocerus binotatus- RA1-Quy Fen

A scarce yellow-marked Crossocerus, closely resembling the relatively frequent C. dimidiatus, but typically with entirely yellow tibiae.

Recorded widely, though sparingly, across England, with one record from Scotland (Murroch Glen, Dunbartonshire, 1903). Abroad, known from central Europe and the Caucasus (Lomholdt, 1975-76).

Status (in Britain only)
Listed as Notable B by Falk (1991) (now known as Scarce (Nb)). There is no evidence of a particularly strong decline, though it has never been a common insect.

Associated with dead wood and timber, with British records from a variety of situations, including woodland, parkland, wetland, non-intensive agricultural settings and even gardens.

Flight period
Univoltine; early June to early September.

Prey collected
Medium-sized flies such as lauxaniids and rhagionids.

Nesting biology
Nesting occurs in burrows in dead wood and timber, including fallen logs, rotten stumps, fence posts and building timbers.

Flowers visited
No information available. Males may ‘swarm’ around trees and bushes in a similar manner to C. dimidiatus.

As you can see not many records from East Anglia

Save Honey Hill

Honey Hill is my main recording area it has a wealth of insects including some classed as endangered. Please see the PDF list below which is only some of the hymenoptera I have recorded there.

The site is one of three locations pinpointed for the new Cambridge city wastewater treatment facility. Please have your say HERE

While I understand the need for more housing and better facilities in the North East of the city, which is where I live there has to be a balance of environmental factors taken in to consideration.

What the Interactive map on the Anglian water website doesn’t show is habitat its just the street view map.

Site 1 near Landbeach is an open network of fields offering no habitat whatsoever fields separated by ditches and fences, a few trees and bushes BUT these are disconnected to any area of wildlife rich areas.

Site one

Site 2 Impington

Slightly better for wildlife a few more hedges and trees , quite disconnected. This area too is better than area one for wildlife.

Site two

Site 3 HoneyHill

Honeyhill is connected to the river by fields and hedges it has drovers lanes ditched and lined with mature trees and hedges, liked to lodes and has the old railway line running through it again tree lined. this leads to woodland and onwards to the fens right to wicken fen.

Removing existing habitat with a mix of mature trees, hedges and wildflowers, all of which are a rarity these days in our intensive farming landscape which surrounds cambridge. Its not as simple as replacing it with new trees this is not nature. wildlife relies on old trees with nooks and crannies, years of leaf mulch, variety of flowering fruiting hedges all of which honey hill has and also it has chalky soil which is great for wildflowers and for mining bees. Its not fen soil dark heavy prone to waterlogging.

Insects and wildlife in general use hedges,trees ditches lined with wild flowers as there highway, so it’s very important. Please watch the video to see how important

In my opinion site 1 would cause the least environmental & wildlife damage.

While we can all have a case of the “Nimby” not in my backyard but I would prefer the treatment plant to stay in my backyard as it is now

Mimumesa dahlbomi – RA1

Mimumesa dahlbomi

The only confirmed record on iRecord and NBN and only one other record which is unconfirmed.

Widespread but local throughout England and Wales to Glamorgan and north to Inverness-shire. There is also one record from Ireland.

The species is common across Europe (Lomholdt 1984)

Status (in Britain only)
Not listed in Shirt (1987) or by Falk (1991) and is not thought to be scarce or threatened.

Else & Felton (1994) indicate a varied habitat selection, including open woodland, heathland and coastal locations. Associated with dead wood habitats for nest sites.

Flight period
Richards (1980) cites May to September.

Prey collected
Nymphs of homopteran bugs within the families Delphacidae and Cicadellidae (Richards 1980). Lomholdt (1984) notes that up to 38 prey specimens have been provided for one larva.

Nesting biology
Widely quoted as nesting in old beetle holes in dead wood and this is undoubtedly typical, but John Felton (Else & Felton 1994) has observed a specimen leaving a burrow in the soil.

Not my photo,

Specimen retained for county records.

A day of wasps- Quy Fen

Wasps are hunting their prey from flies to the smaller lasioglossum bees to caterpillars. Until this year I had never seen a Nysson sp of wasp in the last two months I’ve seen two species one rare and loads of Nysson trimaculatus.