Saturday, June 18, 2022


Another month gone with no posts! 

Work, life and generally being ground down by the shit show that this country has become has meant there has been little time, energy or indeed inclination to do much beetling.

However, this week, I thought 'f**k it, I need to kick the lethargy and get out'. Cut to yesterday and a trip to revisit Panshanger Park in Herts, almost 2 years to the day since my first visit. Not only was the date silmilar but the temperature was too, although I think yesterday was a degree or two hotter.

It was good to be out but boy, it was tough going. Sweeping, beating and just looking, didn't turn up much and even the common stuff wasn't there in last time's abundance. Not only that but I soon became hot, bothered and slightly deflated. I managed four to five hours in the end but by early afternoon I decided to pack up and make my way back to Cambridge.

It wasn't a wasted trip though and I managed to find a couple of new species, the best of which was this hairy wee blighter. 

It was beaten from an old oak tree, and was found amongst a few scirtids. I had assumed that it would be another one and so got a surprise when I looked down the microscope. This is Trinodes hirtus and it is in fact a dermestid. It is listed as a Grade 1 Old Forest Indicator and is usally found in old established broadleaf woodland with plenty of damaged and decaying trees but it can also occur in old trees in parkland, which is exactly where this was found. It's either quite rare or just difficult to find and so there aren't that many records for it on NBN.

The other new species was Sphinginus lobatus which was also beaten from oak and seems to be expanding its range a bit at the moment. Still quite a few bits still to ID including a few ptinids (Ochina plus others here).

The post title is a nod to TISM who have reformed this week after a hiatus of 19 years. This song came out when I was living in Australia at the end of the 90s and I got to see them perform this live at a gig in the Sydney Royal Botanic gardens, memorable for the fact that as dusk descended, 100s of large fruit bats emerged from the trees. Watch to the end...

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