Thursday, 15 June 2017

When the System Works

I found a psyllid on Rosebay Willowherb last week, I've already mentioned it in passing a couple of posts back. Quite an easy one to identify and I happily nailed it as Craspedolepta nebulosa. My photo's were all crap, so please have a look at this British Bugs page to see what it looks like. The clouded areas (whence nebulosa) running along the veins near the wingtips are distinctive. 

Anyway, according to the NBN maps it was the first record for Scotland. Happy with the identity, I emailed Murdo - records collator for the Highland Biological Recording Group (HBRG). He in turn chatted with the local hemiptera expert (a professional bugger, I guess) who said that the maps were out of date and that the psyllid was widespread up here in The Highlands. Murdo's actual words were

This shows how we work up here, though.  You find something, I go and look here, find it, tell others, etc.  Works wonders!

Coupla days later and Murdo advised me to check out the HBRG's Announcements Page. Cor look, there's my name up in writing. Haha - fame, fortune and glory! 

This morning I received another email from Murdo

This is the consequence of your tip-off, Seth.  The current map of records from me and Stephen Moran. Basically, find RbWh, spend 5s looking, check with the lens, move on to the next square!  So much for ‘scarce in the north’.

Last week there were no dots at all!

I reckon my Skye dot looks a bit kinda lost and lonely out there in the west all by itself. I shall ask a couple of local naturalists if they can keep an eye out for Craspedolepta nebulosa whilst roaming Skye and the Small Isles.

UPDATE - and this is what the map looks like a fortnight after the previous image! 


  1. Will look. Rosebay is limited in some area e.g. on Raasay only known from a few cliff ledges until relatively recent forest clearances.

  2. Lots of Rosebay Willowherb at Skinadin, where I walk the dog every morning, so I'll take a look tomorrow.

  3. Cheers chaps. Seeing as you two are the couple of local naturalists I forgot to ask, that's really helpful :)

  4. No joy I'm afraid. I'll start looking earlier next year. I did find a few other things though, most notably a Urophora fly. I'm waiting for Murdo to tell me what species.

    1. Saw some on Tuesday so they're still around, Steve. Usually sitting just below the unopened terminal leaves. Only c3mm long, so easy to overlook until you get your eye in. Also worth checking Spear Thistle for its associated Lacebug, also very small and easy to overlook. I've seen it up here, it's bound to be all over Skye though.