Elater ferrugineus – River Cam

Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758
Size – 17-24mm.

Description – Larger specimens are among the largest Elaterids in Britain. A rather variable species – males can be uniformly bright orange/red over the pronotum and elytra, with a darker brown head or dark brown on the head and pronotum, with dark red elytra. Females are coniderably smaller and uniform dark brown. Shallow rows of pits run the length of the elytra. The legs are black, with slightly lighter brown towards the apicies of the tarsi. The antennae are mid-brown to black and extend just beyond the posterior edge of the pronotum in males and are shorter in females.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Elater ferrugineus across Britain and Ireland.
British and Irish distribution of Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758 based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.


Distribution – Few British records, mostly from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and London, many of these historic. An isolated record from the Swansea area.

Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata (River Cam)

Wingspan 24-28 mm.

A common species throughout Britain, displaying a wide range of differing depths of colour, although all forms have the distinctive whitish ground colour.

The adults fly from May into July, and it can often be disturbed during the day from low vegetation in woodlands, clearings and similar habitats. However its main flight time is at night when it is a regular visitor to the light trap.

Low plants, such as bedstraw (Galium) are the foodplants in the larval stage.

Baits bites lock (River Cam)

I went one of my usual recording spots , which is a meadow behind Baits bites lock. A couple of weeks ago it was filled with bees , today I only saw two but there were so many ladybirds and harlequins. Also a few other types of beetle and a few other insects.

Tingis ampliata (Lacebug) River Cam

Tingis ampliata
Family: Tingidae

Tingis species are grey-brown lacebugs covered in white powdery deposits made of wax. The 4th antennal segment is broader than 3rd and there are three frontal processes (small projections arising between the antennae).

T. ampliata is distinguished by the four rows of meshes at the margin of the pronotum and forewings. The two projections arising just behind the eyes (occipital processes) extend beyond the base of the frontal processes (see right). It is a common species on creeping thistle throughout much of Britain.

Overwinters as an adult and aggregates on the foodplant in the spring and early summer.

2-spot ladybird (Adalia 2-punctata) River Cam

Size: 4 – 5mm
Basic colour: red or black
Pattern colour: black or red spots, spodges or grid-pattern
Number of spots: 0-16
Spot fusions: sometimes
Melanic (black) form: many and common

Pronotum: white with black spots, a black m-mark or mainly black
Leg colour: black
Habitat: very varied
Host plant: very varied
Overwintering: in houses, on bark
Food: aphids

Other notes: Very variable in pattern. The ladybird that most commonly overwinters in buildings.

Willow Emerald Damselfly – Chalcolestes viridis (River Cam)

Length: Male: 42-47mm; Female: 39-44mm
This damselfly is metallic green, with no blue pruinescence on the male. At rest, the Emerald damselflies all spread their wings at an angle to the body, unlike other damselflies. The pterostigma is pale brown with a black border, and the sides of the thorax show a spur-shaped marking. The male upper appendages are distinctively pale cream with dark tips.
Usually near ponds, canals or other still water with overhanging trees. The eggs are laid into the bark of willow or alder.
Status & Distribution
Recent colonist. A very few twentieth century records, but recorded in numbers from southeast Suffolk during 2009, with outlying sites in southeast Norfolk and north Essex. In 2010 again present in these areas, with additional records from south Essex and north Kent…Uk Dragonflies