Worcestershire Record No. 4 May 1998 p.1


By Geoff Trevis

About 20 of our leading recorders attended this meeting which proved a valuable stimulus to recording and an enjoyable social occasion. The main conclusions from the discussion are summarised below and we hope as many people as possible will contribute to the projects. However, please note that ALL records are still needed by the Record Centre and the lists and projects below are simply suggested areas for special attention!

Species Projects

Land Caddis Enoicyla pusilla

Reports of this species have been coming in from woods around the county and it may be more widespread that originally thought. This is the time to be looking for it in the leaf litter of old woods. Records should be sent to Harry Green from whom further information can be obtained. (Article in this issue)

Dandelions and Stoneworts (Charophytes)

Bert Reid has a special interest in these plants and will be grateful to receive specimens for identification, providing special criteria for collection are followed. - see Worcestershire Record vol 1 no 3 November 1997). The dandelions are a particularly diverse and critical group due to their asexual method of reproduction. Bert has been surveying them for the Worcestershire Flora Project.

He has also recently found an extremely rare stonewort in a Worcestershire pond and would like to obtain more records of the group. Please note, however, that care and knowledge are needed to collect specimens in a suitable condition for identification and anybody wanting to help will be well advised to contact Bert before collecting to get details of his requirements. (article in this issue about stoneworts).

Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus

This striking insect has been declining in recent years and a national survey is taking place to establish its current status. It is an easily identified species which has occasionally been recorded in the county, in Worcester, near Upton-on-Severn and two other sites in the south of the county. Records should be sent to Bronwen Bruce, Biodiversity Officer, at Lower Smite Farm. Leaflet enclosed

Water Shrew Neomys fodiens

Again a declining species whose current status is relatively unknown. Andy Graham, Otters and Wetlands Project Officer, will be running a course on 19th June at Lower Smite Farm about how to census this animal. Andy will be happy to supply information to anyone willing to help and to receive any records.

Weasel Mustela nivalis

Shaun Micklewright drew attention to the lack of records in recent times and it was agreed that any new records would be valuable. These can be sent to John Meiklejohn at the Records Centre. Please note that this refers to weasels and not stoats though, of course, records of stoats will be welcome at the Centre.

Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius

As always, records of this elusive species will be of great interest. The easiest way to locate them is from the gnawed shells of nuts on which they have been feeding. Any records, and gnawed nuts to Bronwen Bruce at the Trust.

Earth Stars

These are a particulary interesting group of fungi which are generally easy to identify as Earth Stars though identification to species level is a job for the expert. If you find any do not pick them but make a note of their precise location and let Tim Bateman know (address below).

Giant Lacewing Osmylus fulvicephalus

This is the easiest lacewing to identify and Brett Westwood is interested in determining its distribution in Worcestershire. It can often be disturbed from vegetation overhanging streams. Records to the Record Centre please.

Shining Black Ant Lasius fuliginosus

This is a shining black species which is difficult to mistake for anything else. Records to Brett Westwood via the Record Centre.

Volucella zonaria (a hoverfly)

This is a very large and very striking hoverfly which seems to be extending its range northwards from Europe into Britain (global warming?). Harry Green and Brett Westwood are interested in establishing its presence in Worcestershire and records may be sent directly to Harry Green.

Woad Isatis tinctoria

Brett Westwood has followed the extraordinary appearance from nowhere and subsequent spread of this plant along the A449 dual carriageway and at the A449 junction with the M5. He would be interested in receiving records from any other part of the county. Although the flowers will be fading by the time you read this the plant is easily recognised by its dark seed pods.

A snail Hygromia cinctella

Avid watchers of the BBC One evening news programme Midlands Today will know that this snail was found by David Green in his garden at Little Comberton. Previously it has been regularly recorded only in the Devon with a few isolated records in the southern counties further to the east. It has been extending its range in recent years and it's presence in Worcestershire is the most northerly records so far. Further records would be most valuable. Information can be obtained from David Green who would also welcome the records. He has also prepared a fact-sheet, available from the Trust, which is up-dated by an article in this issue.


John Partridge is our county spider expert and would like to receive any records though he is specially interested in the three species listed at the annual biological recording meeting in March. These species are the Daddy Longlegs spider Pholcus phalangioides, the Spitting Spider Scytodes thoracicus and the Six-eyed Tube Dweller Segestria senocules. (Article in this issue).

Other species which were mentioned included grasshoppers and the House Cricket. It was pointed out that the House Cricket is sold as food for exotic spiders and records may well reflect the location of spider keepers rather than the distribution of native populations of the cricket.Some of the above species may be included on projects launched to involve the general public.If you would like more information please contact myself, Geoff Trevis, Harry Green or the named recorder at the addresses given or through the BRC at Lower Smite Farm.

Site based Recording

1998 Recording Day

This year's site is Grafton Wood. The recording day is Saturday 11th July commencing 10.30 am and we hope as many people as possible will come along to help. Experts will be on hand to lead groups focusing on particular taxa. Meet in the car park by Grafton Church at grid reference SO 963557. A booking form is included with this issue.

NB If anybody who was invited to the 13th May meeting who has not already been contacted about the Grafton meeting, would be willing to act as a leader for their chosen area of specialisation would they please contact me as soon as possible This is a great opportunity to develop interest in recording and all help will be welcomed. Details for leaders will be sent separately.

Other Sites

As we are well aware, records for the county are all too sparse. However, some sites deserve priority attention and of these two have been suggested - the less well recorded parts of the Wyre Forest and the limestone hills around Abberley. We will try to arrange recording days at appropriate locations. In the meantime if you happen to be in these sites please remember to make sure you submit any records.

Panel of Referees

One aspect of recording which is of great importance is having expert referees who are willing to help the less experienced with identifications and to validate records of more difficult taxa. So far I have four people willing to act in this role. Specimens may be sent to them but if a reply is requested please ensure a stamped, self addressed envelope is included. Records and specimens sent to the Records Centre may also be referred to an expert for validation. The referees so far are:

Lichens: Mr. Trevor Duke

Fungi: Mr. Tim Bateman

Spiders: Mr John Partridge

Beetles and freshwater invertebrates: Dr. Don Goddard

If anyone else at the meeting volunteered their help, or indeed would like to do so now, please let me know. Access to expert help is so crucial to those of us who are less expert and any offers will be greatly appreciated.

Worcestershire Invertebrate Group

Kevin McGee and I feel that a Worcestershire Invertebrate Group would be useful as a focus for recording. It is not intended that the group would become involved with groups already well covered e.g. lepidoptera and odonata but rather would focus on those families and orders where few people are involved and where they may be working largely in isolation. Mutual interest and help can go a long way to developing and sustaining individual activity!

Kevin has been sending records to me which are added to my own to begin to build a specifically invertebrate data base. The records are, of course, also sent to the BRC! Kevin's interest in photography also stimulated the idea of building a library of slides of Worcestershire invertebrates which can be used for lectures, publicity and publications. This is going well although I have to admit I have not yet got all my own pictures filed and catalogued in the right place. We would hope to produce a newsletter in which we could publish details of records and activities, this being in addition to more important or widely appealing news published in the Worcestershire Record. Finally we would aim to hold some field meetings and put people with similar interests in touch.

This is very much an idea in its infancy but I would like to hear from anybody who feels that an invertebrate group would be of interest and would potentially like to join. Please write to me, Geoff Trevis.

WBRC Home Worcs Record Listing by Issue Worcs Record Listing by Subject