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  • pmh0606617

Burton Mere Wetlands - for more than just birds

Burton Mere Wetlands are best known for their birds, naturally it’s an RSPB Reserve.  But it supports much more.  Graham, the Site Manager, runs a moth trap on as many occasions as is feasible with his other commitments, and people report sightings of dragonflies, butterflies and day-flying moths.  Following a conversation Graham at the end of May, I agreed to take a closer look at the various invertebrates that could be seen on the reserve and collate records.  To this end, I have been noting the various insects that I have seen whilst on the reserve – I should add that I am an ecologist and have carried out invertebrate surveys at several sites professionally.  In addition, quite a few regular visitors have also been sharing their sightings with me.

So, what have I been doing?  I have mainly concentrated what I call “Visual sightings”, simply walking along the pathways, observing and noting insects.  Occasionally I may need to pot one or two up for later identification and subsequent release if possible.  To date I have done little sweeping with a net, or beating of vegetation to see what insects are hiding, but this will come no doubt happen – Graham has given me permission.  Photographing insects allows for later identification using online resource or my library of reference books.  ObsID is useful, but not foolproof and I have found it inaccurate on several occasions – one fly with lots of bristles it kept telling me was a hedgehog!!

If you note any insects when at Burton Mere, it would be really good if you could private message me with the details – species, date and where – I can add your records to the database, which will then be imported into the RSPB database for Burton Mere and subsequent inclusion on the National Biodiversity Network Atlas database.  If you photograph any insects and aren’t sure what they are, message me with the photo and I’ll see if I can identify for you.

The following are just some of the 150 species seen in June this year.

Heteroptera - true bugs

Top row - l to r: Dock Bug; Dock Bug, Red-legged Shieldbug (nymph)

Bottom row - l to r: Green Shieldbug; Bronze Shieldbug; Woundwort Shieldbug


Top row - l to r: Eristalis pertinax; Meredon equistris; Helophilus pendulous

Bottom row - l to r: Anisimyia contracta; Syritta pipiens; Tropida scita


Top row - l to r: Hybomitra distinguenda; Hybromitra distinguenda; Chrysops relictus

Bottom row - l to r: Tabanus autumalis; Haemotopota pluvialis; Hybomitra bimaculata

Moths and Butterflies

Top row - l to r: Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Cocoon; Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet; Orange-tip

Bottom row - l to r: Drinker caterpillar; Speckled Wood; Scarlet Tiger

Dragonflies and Damselflies

l to r: Blue-tailed Damselfly; Broad-bodied Chaser; Black-tailed Skimmer


Top row - l to r: Cantharis flavilabris; Rutpela maculata; Malachite Beetle

Bottom row - l to r: Cordylepherus viridis, Cardinal Beetle; a leaf beetle

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