Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Big Day - Species Round Up

It's taken me until now, Tuesday morning, to figure out why my Big Day totals didn't add up when cross-referencing the scribble in my notebook with the MasterList whereby everything is broken down into different taxonomic groups. In a nutshell I'd missed off seven species...repeatedly. Everything tallies up now, the grand total for the number of species identified on the day stands at 456. Then there's the backlog of stuff in pots/on pins still to be tackled.

Note the jump from 240 straight to 247...donut!
Alright - the numbers part, as Ali would say. I've broken the species list into the various taxonomic categories as used on the PSL website

Algae (seaweeds, terrestrial and freshwater) - 8 seaweeds, 0 terrestrial, 0 freshwater
Lichens (terrestrial and marine) - 38 terrestrial, 3 marine
Fungi - 28
Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) - 21 mosses, 12 liverworts
Vascular Plants - 179
Cnidarians (anemones, jellyfish, corals, hydra, hydroids etc) - 1 anemone, 1 jellyfish
Molluscs (terrestrial, freshwater & marine) - 18 terrestrial, 1 freshwater, 5 marine
Bryozoans (freshwater and marine) - 1 marine
Annelids (terrestrial and marine worms) - 1 terrestrial, 1 marine
Platyhelminths (terrestrial flatworms, freshwater flatworms) - 1 terrestrial, 2 freshwater
Arachnids (spiders, mites, harvestmen etc) - 5 spiders, 4 mites, 2 harvestmen
Myriapods (centipedes and millipedes) - 2 centipedes, 5 millipedes
Crustaceans (woodlice, hoppers, crabs, barnacles etc) - 2 woodlice, 1 hopper, 1 crab, 1 barnacle
Springtails (terrestrial and marine) - 2 terrestrial, 0 marine
Bristletails - 1
Orthopteroids (grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, sticks etc) - 1 earwig
Hemiptera (bugs, aphids, whiteflies, thrips etc) - 3 bugs, 1 adelgid
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, sawflies, ants) - 2 bees, 1 wasp, 2 sawflies
Coleoptera (beetles) - 9
Diptera (flies) - 12
Butterflies - 1
Moths - 18
Fish (freshwater and marine) - 1 freshwater, 3 marine
Birds - 51
Mammals - 4

Breaking it down like that it's easy to see where large improvements can be made. Insects and seashore stuff! In July I think I'll also need to spend more time turning over rocks and stones, the inverts I usually find were fairly poorly represented on my Big Day. Plus I completely fkkd up the seashore stuff by completely missing the low tide (not that it was particularly low on 10th anyway). By coinciding my next Big Day with the lowest tide of the month (late July) I can massively improve on the 1 crab, 1 barnacle, 1 anemone, handful of molluscs and the 8 seaweeds that pretty much sums up what I managed last time. And warmth will bring out the insects. Warmth and dry conditions. Yeah, I think July's attempt will easily smash the 500 barrier. Especially if I get a proper bulb for my home-made moth trap.

This is the kind of weather I'll need for next time!


  1. I'd like to do a 24 hr blitz just on finding NEW species. I couldn't face doing all those plants again ;p 24hrs ought to equate to about ... 2.5 grasses? Congrats on the 150 flies, btw

  2. Cheers, was a very hungry Agromyza idaeiana in Meadowsweet. Hoping it's gonna pupate before the leaf dries out. Got a Pegomya pupa from sorrel waiting to hatch (prob into a wasp...) but the local recorder will only accept adult specimens, so needs must!

  3. That's a brilliant total, all things considered, Seth. Well done! We were very thin on insects, too...except moths with 134 spp....you definitely need that bulb next time!

  4. What a great total. Would love a go at this, only problem is my botanical knowledge is crap!

  5. Cheers Martin! Just have a go anyway, maybe bring along a plant-botherer on the day? There's more to life than beetles y'know (said no coleopterist ever...)