BioBlitz Bugs

I will freely admit that I like to include wildlife in my day, everyday, I have not kept pace with the 30 Days Wild Blogging, such is the way of things sometimes. If you are too busy noticing, enjoying and relaxing to write a blog then so be it. What with this lovely weather we are having at the moment, it seems a shame to sit indoors and watch that blinking cursor taunt you…

Nonetheless, last Saturday I participated in what must be the ultimate #30DaysWild of activities – a Bioblitz! For the uninitiated this is a short, focused period of ecological surveying designed to produce a ‘list’ of the species present. It draws on experts from a range of fields to identify the rare and easily confused species but is also a great way for anyone to get involved as there is a great deal of work involved in surveying even the smallest of areas.

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Clennon Lakes, Photo Credit: Em

I took part in the Clennon Lakes Bioblitz, near Torquay. This rich wetland habitat is an absolute paradise for surveying, including lakes, grasslands, woodlands and open fields. It was fantastic to meet some local experts as well and to learn more about survey  methods, ID tricks and recommendations for field guides (more to follow in a future blog post). I especially enjoyed sweep netting and investigating the teeming trays of insects that we caught. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Yellow ringed dragonfly, Photo credit: Em

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Crab spider, Photo credit: Em

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Spider with parasitic wasp larvae, Photo credit: Em

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Ground beetle, Photo credit: Em

And the find of the day? Theridiosoma gemmosum – a ray spider that is rare in Europe and Britain. For what it’s worth this is a really tiny spider so maybe we have been overlooking it for a while?

Em

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