It’s not all about the birds at SML. Objective 7 of the current management plan seeks to fill gaps in our knowledge of the flora, fauna, hydrography and chemistry of the reserve. To that end, members of the Devon Moth and Devon Fly Groups have visited in the last couple of years and Dr Martin Luff is currently working on beetles there. Together, they have produced an arthropod list, which now stands at an impressive 712 species. No individual has added more to the list than Geoff Foale from Salcombe and he continues to turn up new species at almost every visit. Coupled with the fact that these are usually documented by high quality photographs, I will use this blog to publicise his efforts.
Actually, the beetle in the header photo, Prasocuris phellandrii, was identified independently by both Geoff and Martin. It normally feeds on Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) and Geoff reports that “they are uncommon in this part of the country with only 3 previous records for the whole of the south west area on NBN”. The latest discovery, the Alder Signal Moth (Stathmopoda pedella) could be one of the first records west of Bristol.