Insect Report 2011


I am pleased to report that quite a lot has been achieved with Entomology at the BNSS during the last 12 months.

Ben Limburn has done an immense amount of work to help preserve the large collections, from the ravages of pests such as the Museum Beetle, by tirelessly rotating them into the Society’s deep freezer. He has also been very busy organising and tidying masses of material in the Society’s attic space, trying to prevent this material from never seeing the light of day.

Thanks also to the massive works by both Steve Limburn and Martin Western who have been cataloguing and photographing our collections, so that they can be digitised and thus be preserved in a different and more accessible form for the future.

I have also been busy digitising the best of some of our insect slides, especially those of the late Margaret Brooks.

Hopefully all, or some of this material will soon become accessible to people on our web site and may encourage more of them to come and see the original specimens.


23rd June, 2011. Joint field trip with Ornithology section to Vernditch and Martin Down. 

(same as report for ornithology but with addition of one Light Emerald moth –Campaea margaritata)

30th July, 2011. Joint field trip with the BBCS to Bourne Bottom. 

Main target species: Grayling butterfly.

A small group of us gathered on the heath at the end of Bloxworth Road after a wet morning it was cool and cloudy it did note bode well for butterflies.

However we soon saw our first Grayling, later seeing many more, most of which were males and very fresh, suggesting that they were recently emerged.

Butterflies seen;-

Gatekeeper  – Pyronia tithonus.

Grayling – Hipparchia semele.

Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris.

Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas.

Large White – Pieris brassicae.

Small White. – Pieris rapae.

Brimstone.- Gonepteryx rhamni.

Comma – Polygonia c-album.

Speckled Wood – Parage aegeria.

It was a very poor day for dragonflies especially as this is a very good site for them , we only saw a single male Blue Tailed Damselfly – Ishnura elegans and a quick glimpse of what I think was an Emperor Dragonfly – Aeshna affinis as we were leaving.

Another insect of note was a dramatic black and yellow species of Sawfly, as yet unidentified.

10th August, 2011. Joint field trip with BBCS to Martin Down.

Target species Silver Spotted Skipper –Hesperia comma.

A large group of us (20 plus) gathered at the village end of the site to search for what is now a quite scarce and local species of butterfly (and somewhat evasive!) We were treated to a lovely day with high numbers of butterflies (mostly “the Browns”) and a good range of species. Several species of Blues testing our identification skills! Most of us were lucky enough to see the Silver Spotted Skipper, though not until sometime after lunch and only 2 to 3 individuals were seen in total.

20 species of butterflies were seen and a few Six -Spot Burnet moths – Zygaena filipendulae were still on the wing and a single Yellow Tailed moth – Euproctis similes at rest on a Hawthorn leaf .

Butterflies seen ;-

Meadow Brown.- Maniola jurtina.

Gatekeeper.- Pyronia tithonus.

Speckled Wood.- Parage aegeria.

Small Heath.- Coenonympha pamphilus.

Large White.-Pieris brassicae.

Small White –Pieris rapae.

Green Veined White – Pieris napi.

Brimstone.- Gonepteryx rhamni.

Red Admiral.- Vanessa atalanta.

Small Tortoiseshell.- Aglais urticae.

Comma.-Polygonia c-album.

Dark Green Fritillary.- Argynnis aglaja.

Common Blue.– Polyommatus icarus.

Adonis blue.-Lysandra bellargus.

Chalk-hill Blue.-Lysandra coridon.

Holly Blue.-Celastrina argiolus.

Brown Argus.-Aricia agestis.

Small copper.-Lycaena phlaeas.

Small Skipper.-Thymelicus sylvestris.

Silver Spotted Skipper.-Hesperia comma.

Throughout the year we have had a range of talks on British and exotic insects, members had another chance to meet my live insects and spiders on June 22nd and again alongside the public on the Open weekend September 10th and 11th. We had the opportunity to see the catch from a live moth trapping thanks to James Fradgeley. Although a poor night for moths, the few of us who bothered to turn up were given a superb personal tour of James’ garden.

Here’s hoping for an even better 2012.