Friday 18 November 2016

Roe Deer

Roe Deer, Kensworth Quarry, 18th November 2016 by John Lynch

Wednesday 7 September 2016


Otter, John O'Gaunt Golf Course, 7th September 2016 by Steve Thompson

Wednesday 10 August 2016


Polecat, near Leighton Buzzard, 10th August 2016 by John Lynch.

Friday 15 July 2016

Stictoleptura rubra?

Found in Upper Caldecote- 11-07.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Stag Beetle

Stag Beetle
Stag Beetle, Totternhoe, 23rd June 2016.  Go to the Cross Keys, buy a pint, stand outside at dusk and wait for the Stag Beetles to fly past.  Easy when you know how and where.

Sunday 12 June 2016

Reduvius personatus

Reduvius personatus in my Luton light trap 11th June 2016

Sunday 5 June 2016


A freshly dead Polecat on the Leighton Buzzard by-pass at 7.45 this morning by John Lynch

Monday 15 February 2016

Polecat unfortunate casualty

On the northbound A6 dual carriageway at Barton-le-Clay on Sunday morning

Saturday 7 November 2015

Olive-tree Pearl - Palpita vitrealis

One trapped in Luton on 5th November = 2nd or 3rd county record ?

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Leafhopper - Ledra aurita

The very distinctive and large leafhopper Ledra aurita from my Luton garden this week. A new one for me... long jump estimated at just short of one metre on a level table !

Friday 7 August 2015

Nothochrysa capitata - out of the pot

Nothochrysa capitata                        photo: Melissa Banthorpe

To add to Andy Grimsey's earlier post, a pic of N.capitata out of the pot. I can confirm it is new for the county.Well done to Andy for finding it.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Black Lacewing - Nothochrysa capitata

This large black lacewing was on top of my moth trap early morning on Tuesday 4th August and identified from web resource. It is now with our county recorder, Melissa, and I am advised it is a first for county. Apologies for the in-the-pot photo as I did not dare let it out, presume Melissa can capture something better. It seems to be a distinctive beastie so not easy to overlook by the curious garden naturalist...

Thursday 9 July 2015

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Hummingbird Hawk-moth, The Lodge, 9th July 2015

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Waved Black larva breeding success

On 22nd May this year Woburn Safari Park staff found an unknown larva during their bioblitz, which the Beds Invertebrate Group was also taking part in. I was handed it on the 23rd to identify and found it was a Waved Black larva. I didn't hold up much hope of managing to breed it through but it took bracket fungus from a birch tree and happily munched on this for a few weeks. However, in mid-June before we were due on holiday it was looking a bit lifeless and nearly got thrown out. We kept it and within a couple of days it pupated successfully. Andy checked it on his arrival home from work this evening and found an adult had emerged.

Waved Black larva                             photo Melissa Banthorpe

Waved Black adult                            photo Melissa Banthorpe

Sunday 5 July 2015

A Study in Scarlet......

As part of the annual Invertebrates Day at Flitwick Moor on 3rd July Melissa and I went wandering along the River Flit in the afternoon and found a total of 33 Scarlet Tiger moths. At one point we had 20 flying around along the path and I took some video on my phone that though not close to the action shows the moths in flight. Two photos below and I am working on how to get the video on line at a decent resolution.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Psyche casta

This Psyche casta micromoth larva was crawling around on a fence post today at The Lodge RSPB. Its head can be seen poking out the left end of its case.

Snake fly - Lodge

This fabulous beast was in my car as I left work tonight.  

Monday 4 May 2015

Looking for Eana incanana larvae in Bluebells

Following a tip posted on Twitter, Melissa and I looked for the larvae of Eana incanana in Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scipta) flowers in Maulden Wood on Saturday afternoon (02/05/15). We found four larvae quite easily. The larvae feed in the flower on the stamens and developing ovaries and can be detected by looking for flowers spun together with silk with frass present. The occupied flower then needs to be opened to check for and identify the larva. Photos below of the flowers with silk and frass and the larva inside by Melissa Banthorpe.

Friday 27 March 2015

Coleophora laricella

A rather interesting find at RSPB Sandy this afternoon - cases of C. laricella. The upper one has started feeding on a fresh needle. The lower one is still fixed in its winter resting position. (Photos: Melissa Banthorpe)

Sunday 1 March 2015

Dotted Border

Found this little lady had emerged from pupation today. She was collected from oak as a larva at Flitwick Moor on 21st May last year.

Dotted Border female                      Photo: Melissa Banthorpe

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Ivy Bee

Here's my contribution to the Ivy Bee distribution map - two individuals were found on Ivy along Gypsy Lane at Broom today.  You can submit any records you have to BWARS here. And don't forget to let Alan Outen know too!

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Oncocera semirubella x2

Oncocera semirubella, Luton, 21st July 2014. Only Bedfordshire's third (or perhaps fourth) record of this stunning micro moth.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Oncocera semirubella

Oncocera semirubella, Biggleswade, 21st July 2014.  Only Bedfordshires third (or perhaps fourth) record of this stunning micro moth.

Friday 18 July 2014

Kent Black Arches

Yet another new macro-moth for the county this year - Kent Black Arches - which brings the total to five. This rather pretty moth was trapped last night (17th) at Biggleswade by Lionel Burgess, who kindly held onto to it so the county Recorders could see it this evening.

Kent Black Arches                     photo Melissa Banthorpe

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Brown Lacewing surprise

New and previously unknown to me last night was this mini-beast on the garden shed in the reflected light of my moth trap in Luton. Identified from the trusty Collins Guide and then confirmed with the recorders as a brown lacewing, species Drepanepteryx phalaenoides. I am informed this is the third VC30 record, the previous being at Heath&Reach in 1987 and Tempsford in 1991.

Friday 4 July 2014

Chicksands Wood 3rd July 2014

At least 3, possibly 4, male Purple Emperors and a single female sucking moisture/nutrients on the main path through Chicksands Wood late morning and early afternoon. Females on the ground would appear to be a rare sight. Three photos of the female which had a small tear near the tip of the left forewing, and one of a male.

Sunday 29 June 2014

Two interesting micro moth records from Flitwick Moor 28th June 2014

The Wildlife Trust for Beds,Cambs & Northants & The BNHS held their annual Invertebrates Day at Flitwick Moor on 28th June 2014. All was fine until it started raining just after midday which did not stop until after 3pm. As it started raining I was collecting leaf-mines from a Crab Apple in the meadow and found an interesting large Coleophoriid case that I did not recognise. On getting home I identified it as Coleophora siccifolia, a scarce species with five previous Bedfordshire records. Two of these were adults at Turvey Abbey in 2001 & The Cockayne Hatley Rothamsted trap in 2005.There are three previous larval records, two of feeding signs in N Beds in 1992 and 2005 and one larval case in 1992 in Sharnbrook. This then is the first record in 9 years and the first in the centre of the county.
The second find was whilst wandering round in the rain in the afternoon collecting leafmines for id later. One I had been looking for on Honeysuckle and happily found was Perittia obscurepunctella. The only previous record of this in the county was of an adult in a light trap at Apsley Guise in 1983.

Melissa took some nice photos of the Coleophora case and I scanned the Perittia mine, both ids have been confirmed by Beds Micro-moth Recorder David Manning.
Case of Coleophora siccifolia on Crab Apple, Flitwick Moor 28/06/2014. Photo by Melissa Banthorpe

Case of Coleophora siccifolia on Crab Apple, Flitwick Moor 28/06/2014. Photo by Melissa Banthorpe

Leafmine of Perittia obscurepunctella on Honeysuckle, Flitwick Moor 28/06/2014. Scan by Andy Banthorpe

Sunday 15 June 2014

Cranfield Uni bioblitz bonus

Andy and I ran two MV lights for a couple of hours at Cranfield Uni last night as part of their bioblitz weekend. Prospects weren't good as it had rained during the day and it hadn't been especially warm. We didn't catch large numbers of moths, or as many species as one might expect at this time of year. However, late on we found a single Double Dart, a moth species that hasn't been seen in the county for nearly 11 years and one which we thought we would never see in the county. So was a good end to the evening.

Double Dart                                      photo Melissa Banthorpe

Friday 13 June 2014

Of the 5 Black Hairstreaks I saw in Marston Thrift today this one obligingly came down for a brief photoshoot.