Last weekend I took part in Garden Bioblitz 2014. The event took place on Saturday 31st May and Sunday 1st June and the idea is to pick 24 hours over the weekend and list all the species that have colonised or arrived in your garden of their own accord. If you have problems with identifying a species or desire confirmation you can visit i-spot and post a photo. I found this site very useful and helpful. Finally, you need to visit i-record to submit the species you have seen adding any photos you have taken. Its great fun to take part and it really does increase your knowledge of biodiversity in your garden. In addition, the records are stored at the Biological Records Centre and can help local record centres, conservation organisations, natural history societies and local government make decisions about conservation projects, land management and planning permission.
I started my 24 hour bioblitz at 9.00 p.m. on the Saturday and here's a list and some photos (sorry many are poor record shots) of the species seen. I tended to take quick photos of species where I wasn't sure of the identification or where I thought my records might be queried.
Moths - results from the moth trap were disappointing but I started my list with
Heart and Dart
Small Shuttle-shaped Dart
Light Brown Apple Moth
There were a lot of leaf mines on lilac leaves in the garden and after posting on i-spot I discovered they are made by the larvae of the Common Slender Moth (Gracillaria syringella)
Butterflies seen in the garden during the day were
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Amphibians seen were:
Common/Smooth Newt still lots of these in the pond and I found lots of young frogs in the wildflower meadow.
Bugs - Hemiptera
Hawthorn Shield Bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)
Black Bean Aphid (Aphis fabae)
Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius)
A photo of the frothy, bubbly "cuckoo-spit" which the froghopper nymphs create to protect themselves. Adult Froghoppers are incredible jumpers and can leap 70cm into the air!
Common Pondskater (Gerris lacustris)
Beetles - Coleoptera
Harlequin Ladybird - this individual was fished out of the pond
D helped me for part of the time and he spotted a yellow native ladybird hiding amongst peony leaves. Unfortunately it flew off before the spots could be counted!
We had great fun at one point spreading a white sheet on the floor in the wooded area at the top of the garden and shaking the branches. Several spiders and this weevil appeared on the sheet.
Clay-coloured Weevil (Otiorhynctius (Dorymerus) singularis)
Tree Bumble Bee
White-tailed Bumble Bee
Buff-tailed Bumble Bee
Thanks to i-spot who identified this as a Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis). If you click on the photo to enlarge it you might be able to make out the horns on its face!
This is one of the insects I couldn't get down to species level although I think its a Solitary Bee (Lasioglossum species)
Red-tailed Bumble Bee
Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)
Black Garden Ant (Lassius niger)
Red Ant (Myrmica rubra)
I had to be very careful what I counted here as over the years we have planted a lot of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers which I have excluded.
Wall Speedwell (Veronica arvensis)
Upright Yellow Sorrel
Common Mouse-ear (Cerastium fontantum)
Ribwort Plantain (found this plant in the front lawn - well away from the wildflower meadow at the top of the back garden so I have counted this one :)
Cat's Ear growing in the "nomow" zone of the main back lawn
Trees which have self-seeded
Back to invertebrates!
Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)
I found this grasshopper on the front lawn and its been identified on i-spot as an Acrididae grasshopper (Probably Common Green - its a young one who hasn't yet developed its adult wings.
I found this spider in its web amongst reeds in the pond and believe its a Stretch Spider (Tetragnatha extensa) one of the long-jawed orb weaver spiders
Large House Spider (Tegenaria gigantea)
Molluscs - Snails
White-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea hortensis)
Garden Snail (Helix aspersa)
Centipedes and Millipedes
Millipede (Cylindroilus caeruleocinctus)
Centipede - unable to get this to species level buts its a Cryptops sp.
Crustaceans - Woodlouse
Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber)
There were a few species I couldn't identify such as this tiny black beetle on a grass stalk - I haven't put this on i-spot as the photo is so heavily cropped and there seem to be few distinctive features
and this spider (Drassodeus cupreus???)
Unfortunately, I ran out of time so pond-dipping and dissecting the log pile will have to wait until another day. I had set myself a target of 50 species so I was really pleased to reach just over 70. I've also added nearly 20 species to my 365 garden challenge list :)
Many thanks to Duncan for persuading me to take part and to experts at i-spot for confirming or identifying species and to the team at Garden Bioblitz.
Apologies in advance for any typing errors especially in the scientific names. I'm typing this in a bit of a rush as the family has gone out for an hour and, instead of doing the ironing, I am "skiving" off yet again on the internet! :)
If you want to find out more about the Garden Bioblitz please visit