Friday, May 18, 2018

Lunchtime longhorns

There's not much flowering hawthorn at work but I have been watching one patch assiduously at lunchtimes this week.

Half of it has been in full sun and attracting all sorts of flies, bees and beetles. Along side the Malachite beetles and Anapsis, there have been three species of longhorn beetle.

Double figures of the small Grammoptera ruficornis but also several Molorchus minor and today a single individual of Anaglyptus mysticus.

All have been a rather nice distraction from a rather hectic week at work. Rather apt really as we come to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week. The ability to get outside, see some nature and uncouple from a computer goes a long way to combatting the worries and stresses that come with modern living. Plus they're bloody good looking beetles.

Anaglyptus mysticus

Molorchus minor

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Getting ahead

I got a long expected tick yesterday, well it wasn't a tick it was a louse. The head louse Pediculus humanus.

Both kids had had itchy heads for a couple of days but try as I might I couldn't see anything. However, some adults appeared yesterday and they were easy enough to spot.

Being completely bald it's not something I need to worry about but everyone else has now been shampooed and combed profusely.

I never had them as a child and don't really remember any one else getting them either, but there always seem to be outbreaks at my kids' school.

I'm not really sure of the reason. Financial cuts to schools leading to a loss of school nurses? People having generally cleaner, and therefore more attractive to lice, hair. Who knows.

Anyway, not a species I particularly want to see up close again......

Sunday, May 13, 2018


When I was growing up Phil Collins was everywhere and then suddenly he wasn't. 

Why am I talking about an 70s and 80s musician in a blog predominantly about nature, well....every time I hear the word pseudoscorpion it makes me thing of the Collins track, Sussudio.

And that was what I was humming to myself as I walked around late one night last week with a torch looking at trees.

I was on the hunt for the biggest of the UK's pseudoscorpions, Dendrochernes cyrneus, aka the Large Tree-chernes. 

Apparently associated with ancient woodland, these certainly hadn't read the memo and were on a variety of tree species around a local golf course. They were easy to spot and when the light was on them, waved their hands in the air almost as if they just didn't care. Awsome.