Tuesday 13 October 2015

'New' Species

This summer the vast majority of my photography took place at a local nature reserve only 10 minutes from home. There were several reasons for this, the main one being that for some reason I particularly enjoy photographing my local wildlife. I will occasionally venture further afield but I like that to be the exception rather than the rule.

The downside of focusing so much attention on one local site year-after-year is that the insect species that appear at different times of the year become fairly predictable. This can encourage creativity as it forces me think how to photograph Common Blue butterflies or Four Spotted Chasers differently. But I don't normally expect to see 'new' species.

Imagine my surprise therefore to discover 2 new species of large insects at this site within the space of a couple of weeks this summer. The first discovery was this rather handsome Roesel's Bush Cricket found in early July in a patch of rough grass. This is a species that I'd never seen before, not only at this site but anywhere else either. In the UK its range has been expanding from the south east so it is possible that it is a fairly recent arrival at the site.


Later in July, on the same patch of rough grass (while looking in vain for more Roesel's Bush Crickets) I found this female Long Winged Conehead. It is a nymph which is why it has short wings and the straight ovipositor distinguishes it from the Short Winged Conehead. Again this is a species that is gradually moving north in the UK and is now increasingly common in the midlands.

I can only hope that both of these species become established at this site.

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