BUTTERFLY REPORT, 2003
Other Arthropods Recorderâ€™s Annual Report 2003 As was predicted in last yearâ€™s report, the centipede Geophilus carpophagus s.s. has been added to the county list on the basis of two records from Lowestoft. The earliest record dates back to 1990 when I collected a specimen in Corton Woods and retained it in a voucher collection. Re-examination of this specimen has confirmed its identity whereas all of the other Suffolk specimens re-examined were of Geophilus easoni. There are still a large number of specimens in Ipswich Museum that were collected as G. carpophagus s.l. and need to be re-examined. Elsewhere in southern England the species has been found regularly hiding under flaking bark on churchyard yew trees. A survey of similar locations in Suffolk would provide an interesting study for anyone with the time to spare. This centipede is relatively easy to recognise due to its large size (up to 60 mm in length) and its greenish or greyish coloration contrasting with the reddish brown head and rear end. It is also the only species with this colouration that has between 51 and 57 pairs of legs. During 2003 there were no observations of woodlice or millipedes worthy of further comment. However, Ray Ruffell again provided records of several species from under-worked tetrads. It was also pleasing to receive a batch of records from Stuart Warrington of the National Trust. Most of these related to the Sutton Hoo site and had been collected during survey work undertaken by Peter Kirby. The last two years have seen a significant increase in the number of observations of the harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus in Suffolk. This species is a relatively recent colonist in Britain having first been recorded at Bournemouth in 1957 (Sankey & Storey, 1969). Since that date its spread northwards has been well documented. Fourteen years ago Hillyard and Sankey (1989) reported that it occurred south of a line from Cardigan Bay to the Orwell but the latter reference was to a record from north Essex and the first Suffolk specimen of which I am aware was not collected until 1994. By 1999 it had reached Lancashire and Yorkshire (Hillyard, 1999) and was reported from Edinburgh the following year (Hillyard, 2000). Despite this rapid spread the first record from v.c. 26 was not made until 2002 when Peter Harvey collected a specimen from Red Lodge and Ray Ruffell added records from a further four locations. Richard Fisk, Ray Ruffell and Stan Dumican have all recorded the species at further locations in 2003 and it may now be widespread across Suffolk. As this species frequents gardens and is relatively easy to identify, due to its characteristic resting pose and very long extensions on the palps (see Jones, 1983 for a photograph), SNS members could provide very useful information on its present and future distribution within the county. An interesting pseudoscorpion was collected during the SNS field meeting at Milden Thicks SSSI in June 2003. Two specimens of Dinocheirus panzeri were found in Stattles Grove, a small area of woodland outside of the SSSI. This is only the fifth record of the species for Suffolk and only the second from v.c. 26; the first specimen was collected 25 years ago. This pseudoscorpion is most commonly recorded as a synanthrope, especially in
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hay and grain refuse around farms (Legg & Jones, 1988). It appears to disperse to suitable sites by “hitching a lift” on birds. This may explain why it has also been found in nests and, more rarely, in association with rotting wood in more natural locations. Interestingly all of the Suffolk records to date have been from these more natural situations probably indicating that the species is heavily under-recorded on the county’s farms.
References Jones, R. A. (1983). The Country Life Guide to Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe. Feltham: Country Life Books. Hillyard, P. D. (1999). Spread of Dicranopalpus ramosus. Ocularium: Newsletter of the Opiliones Recording Scheme, 2: 1. Hillyard, P. D. (2000). Dicranopalpus ramosus. Ocularium: Newsletter of the Opiliones Recording Scheme, 3: 2. Hillyard, P. D. & Sankey, J. H. P. (1989). Harvestmen. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) 4 (Second edition). London: Linnean Society of London. Legg, G. & Jones, R. E. (1988). Pseudoscorpions. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) 40. London: Linnean Society of London. Sankey, J. H. P. & Storey, M. W. (1969). Dicranopalpus caudatus Dresco (Arachnida, Opiliones), first records in Britain and France. Entomologist’s mon. Mag., 105: 106–107. Paul Lee Oakdene, The Heath, Tattingstone, Ipswich IP9 2LX
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