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Other Fauna

My interest in dragonflies and damselflies (odonata) is a relatively recent development, indeed prior to 2012 I knew next to nothing about these prehistoric looking insects, the dry and barren hills of the Yorkshire Wolds hardly being suitable habitat for them. However since 2012 they have become one of my favourite subjects of study, these ferocious predators of the insect world being amongst the most rewarding and fascinating of all winged insects. The fact that they, unlike many insects, are relatively easy to identify by visual examination alone also makes them imminently suitable for the country naturalist, as does their relatively long flight period, which for some species lasts from May right through to the first frosts of the autumn.

ODONATA (Dragonflies & Damselflies)
ZYGOPTERA (Damselflies)
Lestidae (Spread-winged Damselflies)

Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)

Coenagrionidae (Narrow-winged Damselflies)

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

ANISOPTERA (Dragonflies)
Aeshnidae (Hawkers)

Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)

Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

Codulegastridae (Spiketails)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)

Libellulidae (Skimmers, Chasers & Darters)

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae)

Total Species Recorded : 21
Most Recent Addition(s)
Scarce Chaser, Strumpshaw Fen (Norfolk), 20.06.15

Coleoptera, most commonly referred to as Beetles, is the largest group of insects in the world with over 4,000 species being found in Britain alone. It includes species such as the well known and much loved Ladybirds, though unfortunately most are far harder to identify accurately with many species being difficult, if not impossible to identify without a thorough microscopic examination. Since I have only recently begun to study beetles I will have inevitably made many mistakes below so please forgive any errors on my part, I am endeavouring to improve little by little.

Coccinellidae (Ladybirds)

2 Spot Ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)

7 Spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)

10 Spot Ladybird (Adalia decempunctata)

14 Spot Ladybird (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata)

22 Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata)

Cream Spot Ladybird (Calvia quattuordecimguttata)

Orange Ladybird (Halyzia sedecimguttata)

Cerambycidae (Long-horn Beetles)

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn (Agapanthia villosoviridescens)

Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles)

Large Flax Flea Beetle (Aphthona euphorbiae)

Green Dock Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula)

Altica species (possible A. lythri)

Neocrepidodera transversa (N. transversa)

Elateridae (Click Beetles)

Athous haemorrhoidalis (A. haemorrhoidalis)

Lucanidae (Stag Beetles)

Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus)

Scarabaeidae (Dung Beetles)

Night-flying Dung Beetle (Aphodius rufipes)

Common Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha)

Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola)

Silphidae (Carrion Beetles)

Black Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus humator)

Nicrophorus investigator (N. investigator)

Common Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides)

Geotrupidae (Dor Beetles)

Geotrupidae species (probably Geotrupes stercorarius)

Pyrochroidae (Cardinal Beetles)

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)

Staphylinidae (Rove Beetles)

Philonthus laminatus (P. laminatus)

Quedius levicollis (Q. levicollis)

Oedemeridae (False Blister Beetles)

Oedemera virescens (O. virescens)

Cantharidae (Soldier Beetles)

Cantharis cryptica (C. cryptica)

Cantharis livida (C. livida)

Cantharis nigricans (C. nigricans)

Cantharis pellucida (C. pellucida)

Cantharis rufa (C. rufa)

Cantharis rustica (C. rustica)

Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

Dermestidae (Larder Beetles)

Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)

Carabidae (Ground Beetles)

Bembidion quadrimaculatum (B. quadrimaculatum)

Bradycellus harpalinus (B. harpalinus)

Bradycellus verbasci (B. verbasci)

Carabus problematicus (C. problematicus)

Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris)

Strawberry Seed Beetle (Harpalus rufipes)

Red-rimmed Plate Jaw (Leistus rufomarginatus)

Common Heart-shield (Nebria brevicollis)

Black Clock Beetle (Pterostichus madidus)

Poecilus species (probably P. cupreus)

Curculionidae (Weevils)

Clay-coloured Weevil (Otiorhynchus singularis)

Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus)

Phyllobius virideaeris (P. virideaeris)

Nitidulidae (Sap Beetles)

Epuraea aestiva (E. aestiva)

Pollen Beetle (Meligethes aeneus)

Total Species Recorded : 49
Most Recent Addition(s)
Bradycellus verbasci, Woldgarth (E. Yorks), 23.08.16

Hemiptera, or Bugs, are a rich and diverse group of insects with over 1,700 species being found in the British Isles, and unlike Beetles are generally far easier to identify without the need for microscopic study of intimate body-parts. As a result they are generally a much more rewarding subject to study and since many members of the group are also rather colourful and varied, they also make good photographic muses. A good variety can be found in most gardens and searching for these charming wee beasties amongst the summer flowers must surely be one of the most enjoyable of activities.

Pentatomidae (Stink Bugs)

Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum)

Common Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina)

Red-legged Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)

Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus)

Blue Shieldbug (Zicrona caerulea)

Acanthosomatidae (Shield Bugs)

Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)

Cydnidae (Burrower Bugs)

Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas bicolor)

Miridae (Leaf Bugs)

Deroeocoris flavilinea (D. flavilinea)

Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus (D. flavoquadrimaculatus)

Harpocera thoracica (H. thoracica)

Heterotoma planicornis (H. planicornis)

Liocoris tripustulatus (L. tripustulatus)

Lygus wagneri (L. wagneri)

Neolygus contaminatus (N. contaminatus)

Anthocoridae (Flower Bugs)

Common Flower Bug (Anthocoris nemorum)

Notonectidae (Backswimmers)

Common Backswimmer (Notonecta glauca)

Gerridae (Pond Skaters)

Common Pondskater (Gerris lacustris)

Corixidae (Water Boatmen)

Sigara dorsalis (S. dorsalis)

Cercopidae (Froghoppers)

Red-and-black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata)

Total Species Recorded : 19
Most Recent Addition(s)
Sigara dorsalis, Woldgarth (East Yorks.), 23.08.16

Bees, whom make up a large percentage of the hymenopterans, are surely one of the most wonderful insects to have been put upon this abundant planet which we inhabit, their short but busy existences proving not only beneficial to ourselves but indeed much of life upon the Earth. The warm, lazy days of summer would undoubtedly be the poorer without the sound of bumble-bees buzzing around the wildflowers or herbaceous beds of home, whilst other members of this group, especially the ants, also ensure that the world as we know it continues to thrive and exist.

HYMENOPTERA (Bees, Wasps, Sawflies & Ants)
Apidae (True Bees)

Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes)

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum)

Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

Common Carder Bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum)

Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus vestalis)

Nomad Bee (Nomada flava)

Megachilidae (Masonry Bees)

Leafcutter Bee (Megachile willughbiella)

Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis)

Andrenidae (Mining Bees)

Andrena carantonica (A. carantonica)

Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)

Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)

Andrena humilis (A. humilis)

Halictidae (Sweat Bees)

Common Furrow-bee (Lasioglossum calceatum)

Colletidae (Plasterer Bees)

Hylaeus hyalinatus (H. hyalinatus)

Hylaeus communis (H. communis)

Vespidae (Wasps)

Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Tree Wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris)

Hornet (Vespa crabro)

Crabronidae (Sand Dipper Wasps)

Field Digger Wasp (Mellinus arvensis)

Ichneumonidae (Ichneumon Wasps)

Dusona circumspectans (D. circumspectans)

Formicidae (Ants)

Small Black Ant (Lasius niger)

Common Red Ant (Myrmica rubra)

Tenthredininae (Sawflies)

Macrophya alboannulata (M. alboannulata)

Rhogogaster species (?)

Tenthredo arcuata (T. arcuata)

Tenthredo livida (T. livida)

Tenthredo temula (T. temula)

Total Species Recorded : 32
Most Recent Addition(s)
Field Digger Wasp, Woldgarth (E. Yorks), 13.08.16

Syrphidae, or hoverflies, are a family of flies whom can be found in almost any garden throughout much of the year, indeed some members of the family, such as the Eristalini, are one of those heralds of spring and whom can often be found in the garden on warmer and sunnier days even in January. As pollinators they play a very important role in the natural world, whilst many species also feed on pests such as aphids, this making them a very welcome addition to both the garden and the farm.

SYRPHIDAE (Hoverflies)

Volucella bombylans (V. bombylans)

Volucella zonaria (V. zonaria)

Pellucid Fly (Volucella pellucens)

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)


Baccha elongata (Baccha elongata)

Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare)


Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

Syrphus ribesii/vitripennis (S. ribesii/vitripennis)


Eristalis arbustorum (Eristalis arbustorum)

Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax)

Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax)

Sun fly (Helophilus pendulus)

Myathropa florea (M. florea)


Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris)


Bog Hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis)

It might seem strange that despite my lifelong fear of spiders I nevertheless find this group of invertebrates among the most interesting of all life-forms, the sheer variety of spiders being mind-boggling. Indeed the average home probably has at the very least a dozen or so species living inside and outside its walls, ranging from the charming Zebra Spiders whom hunt for prey using only their speed and sharp eyes, to the much less welcome House Spiders whom skulk in dark unused corners, only appearing in late summer and autumn in order to breed. I may not love spiders but you can't deny that they are rather fascinating organisms.

ARACHNIDA (Spiders, Harvestmen…)
ARANEAE (Spiders)
Araneidae (Orb-weaver spiders)

Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)

Cucumber Green Spider (Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato)

Furrow Orb-weaver (Larinioides cornutus)

Walnut Orb-weaver (Nuctenea umbratica)

Segestriidae (Tube-dwelling spiders)

Snake-back Spider (Segestria senoculata)

Clubionidae (Sac spiders)

Clubiona species (probably Clubiona terrestris)

Amaurobiidae (Funnel-web spiders)

Amaurobius fenestralis (A. fenestralis)

Lace Weaver Spider (Amaurobius similis)

Pholcidae (Cellar spiders)

Daddy Long-legs (Pholcus phalangioides)

Gnaphosidae (Ground spiders)

Drassodes cupreus/lapidosus (D. cupreus/lapidosus)

Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)

Thomisidae (Crab spiders)

Xysticus cristatus (X. cristatus)

Philodromidae (Running Crab spiders)

Philodromus aureolus (P. aureolus)

Salticidae (Jumping spiders)

House Jumping Spider (Pseudeuophrys lanigera)

Zebra Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Sitticus pubescens (S. pubescens)

Lycosidae (Wolf spiders)

Pardosa amentata (P. amentata)

Pisauridae (Nursery Web spiders)

Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Tetragnathidae (Long-jawed spiders)

Pachygnatha clercki (P. clercki)

Tetragnatha extensa (T. extensa)

Tetragnatha montana (T. montana)

Agelenidae (Funnel-weaving spiders)

Common House Spider (Tegenaria domestica)

Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica)

Theridiidae (Comb-footed spiders)

Comb-footed Spider (Enoplognatha ovata)

Dysderidae (Woodlouse spiders)

Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata)

Stripe-legged Spider (Harpactea hombergi)

Liniphiidae (Money spiders)

Linyphia hortensis (L. hortensis)

Neriene clathrata (N. clathrata)

Opiliones (Harvestmen)

Megabunus diadema (M. diadema)

Platybunus triangularis (P. triangularis)

Total Species Recorded : 28
Most Recent Addition(s)
Cucumber Green Spider, Woldgarth (E. Yorks), 29.08.16

Whilst birds, lepidoptera and dragonflies have since become my primary fields of interest, it was actually the local mammalian life which originally attracted me to the study of natural history, the countryside around our home in East Yorkshire hosting particularly large numbers of Roe deer, as well as other wonderful wild animals such as Foxes, Hares, Bats and Water Voles. Indeed the local Water Vole population is particularly special given that this mammal is under serious threat across the country, though I have to admit I have grave concerns for the future of the colony, especially as it lies so close to the ever expanding town of Beverley. Hopefully the council will put wildlife and conservation before short-term financial gain but to be honest I think it is already a lost battle.

MAMMALIA (Mammals)
RODENTIA (Rodents)
Cricetidae (Voles)

Bank Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)

Field Vole (Microtus agrestis)

Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris)

Muridae (Mice & rats)

Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)

House Mouse (Mus musculus)

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Sciuridae (Squirrels)

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

LAGOMORPHA (Rabbits, Hares & Pikas)
Leporidae (Hares & rabbits)

Brown Hare (Lepus capensis)

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

EULIPOTYPHLA (Moles, Hedgehogs, Shrews…)
Talpidae (Moles)

Mole (Talpa europaecus)

Soricidae (Shrews)

Common Shrew (Sorex araneus)

Water Shrew (Neomys fodiens)

Erinaceidae (Hedgehogs)

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Common Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)

Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)

CARNIVORA (Carnivores…)
Felidae (Cats)

Domesticated Cat (Felis sylvestris catus)

Canidae (Dogs & Foxes)

Domesticated Dog (Canis lupis familiaris)

Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Mustelidae (Weasels & allies)

Pine Martin (Martes martes)

Stoat (Mustela ermine)

Weasel (Mustela nivalis)

Otter (Lutra lutra)

Badger (Meles meles)

American Mink (Neovison vison)

Phocidae (True Seals)

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Common Seal (Phoca vitulina)

PERISSODACTYLA (Odd-toed Ungulates)
Equidae (Horses)

Domesticated / Feral Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Donkey (Equus africanus asinus)

ARTIODACTYLA (Even-toed Ungulates)
Bovidae (Cloven-hoofed mammals)

Domesticated / Feral Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)

Domesticated Cattle (Bos taurus)

Domesticated Sheep (Ovis aries)

Suidae (Pigs & Boars)

Domesticated Pig (Sus scrofa domesticus)

Cervidae (Deer)

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)

Fallow Deer (Dama dama)

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)

Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis)

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

CETACEA (Whales, Dolphins…)
Phocoenidae (Porpoises)

Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

Total Species Recorded : 39
Most Recent Addition(s)
Pine Martin, Nevis Lodge (Lochaber), 29.08.15

Having grown up on the dry Yorkshire Wolds, and also having a home without a wildlife pond or any nearby open water, my encounters with amphibians has been largely limited to just the odd Common Frog in the darker and damper corners of the garden. As a result I am largely ignorant of these rather intriguing animals, though hopefully one day I may be in a position to put this right and learn more about their curious life cycles. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.

As with amphibians, my knowledge of reptiles is very limited and restricted, the Yorkshire Wolds not being home to a particularly large diversity of these cold-blooded organisms. However the odd Grass Snake is encountered in the warmer months, and nearby nature reserves may bring the odd Lizard sighting too, though it has only been in the last couple of years that I have begun to see more reptiles, the North York Moors hosting much larger populations of lizards and snakes compared to back home. Adders are particularly common up on the moorlands and these venomous but rarely aggressive snakes are always good to see whilst out and about exploring the local countryside.

HERPETOFAUNA (Amphibians & Reptiles)
AMPHIBIA (Amphibians)
Urodeles (Newts & Salamanders)

Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

Anurans (Frogs & Toads)

Common Frog (Rana temporaria)

Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

REPTILIA (Reptiles)
Serpentes (Snakes)

Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)

Adder (Vipera berus)

Sauria (Lizards)

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Total Species Recorded : 7
Most Recent Addition(s)
Slow-worm, North Cliffe Wood (E. Yorks)

I am not a fisherman, and whilst I did enjoy a flirtation with the past-time during my early teens, I have always preferred to simply watch and observe nature rather than actually pursue it for the thrill of the catch. As a result I am pretty ignorant of the freshwater fish which dwell locally, though past experiences and the occasional chat with fishermen has helped to illuminate my knowledge to a limited degree, the nearby river Hull hosting a good variety of river creatures. Our new cottage up in the Moors is also beside a river (the Murk Esk) and this has also brought some new chances to observe river life, leaping salmon and trout often being seen from the comfort of our riverbank home.

Cyprinidae (Carp & Tench)

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Roach (Rutilus rutilus)

Chub (Squalius cephalus)

Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)

Salmonidae (Salmon, Trout…)

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)

Gasterosteidae (Sticklebacks)

Three-spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

Total Species Recorded : 7
Most Recent Addition(s)