In the spider's web by Christopher (CC BY-NC 2.0)  .jpg

Survey of the invertebrates of Shamley Green and Wonersh, summer 2021

Scotty Dodd Msc. MCIEEM. MRES , entomologist and specialist invertebrate ecologist, carried out six separate daytime surveys between May and August 2021. The areas surveyed in Shamley Green were the Duck Pond Green, Lords Hill, and woodland near Hyde Farm (the 'Copse'), and in Wonersh he looked at the woodland, the Platt, and the surrounds of the cricket field. In total 516 invertebrate species were identified in the two villages, although he points out that this will inevitably have missed the vast majority of night-flying species like moths and ichneumon flies, and also that the erratic weather, often cold and wet, in the summer of 2021 made it one of the worst on record for flying invertebrates!

A general walkover survey of the sites was undertaken to visually identify features and habitats with the potential to support scarce or protected invertebrates. Features of interest were sampled for invertebrates using a heavy duty calico sweep net, beating tray, suction sampler, butterfly net for spot-netting at resources of interest and hand searching targeted food-plants / features. Visual observations of mobile insects were also noted.

For a list of all 516 species recorded click here

For a table showing the habitats identified using 'Pantheon' analysis click here

For the conclusions and recommendations of the report click here

Species with a conservation designation

 

Of the 516 species recorded, 29 have a conservation designation, mostly being classed as at least Nationally Scarce. For a list showing where they were found and their conservation designation click here, and there follows a more detailed commentary on each of the designated species contained in the report:

Many of these species are listed as 'saproxylic', which means that they are dependent on dead or decaying wood for at least part of their life cycle.

Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths):

White admiral butterfly Limenitis camilla by Kleiner Eisvogel (CC BY 2.0) .jpg

White Admiral Butterfly

Limenitis camilla

The White Admiral Limenitis camilla is a widespread species in southern England, but rarely common. This butterfly has shown a severe decline over the past 20 years and is therefore considered to be a Priority Species for conservation efforts by Butterfly Conservation. This species is also regarded as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Review. The larval food-plant Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum was present and therefore breeding at the site is likely. A single adult was recorded at The Platt in July.

The Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae is a widespread species associated with ragworts Jacobaea ssp. It is on the S41 list as a Research Only species, and as such no conservation action is currently required. Larvae were noted on Common Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris in July.

Cinnabar moth by Derek Parker (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) .jpg

Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae

Coleoptera (Beetles):

 Alder leaf beetle Agelastica alni populations have very recently exploded in southern England and it is now believed to feed on alternative host plants, such as Birch Betula spp. and Hazel Corylus avellana. It was classed as NR (Nationally Rare) but this status is no longer relevant.

Likewise, the saproxylic beetle Eulagius filicornis is considered to be non-native in the UK but is very common on moribund and fungoid oak branches; it was found at Wonersh woodland.

Alder leaf beetle Agelastica alni by Gail Hampshire (CC BY 2.0)  .jpg

Alder leaf beetle Agelastica alni

Eulagius filicornis by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2_edited.png

Eulagius filicornis

Notable coleopterans from the reviewed groups include mainly saproxylic species (associated with dead wood and tree senescence), such as Abdera biflexuosa, a local species in Surrey, beaten from moribund branches of open-grown Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur at Shamley Green,

Also, the tiny woodworm beetle Dorcatoma flavicornis, rare in Surrey and associated with red-rotten oak, was beaten from open grown oak at The Platt.

Abdera biflexuosa

Abdera biflexuosa by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2_edited.png
Anthocomus fasciatus by Jean-Raphael Guillaumin (CC BY-SA 2_edited.jpg

Anthocomus fasciatus

The pretty Anthocomus fasciatus is associated with dead wood, but also seen around houses and gardens, where it may also have an association with old building timbers. It is a tiny little predator beetle only 4mm long, a locally distributed species in Surrey and recently elevated to Nationally Scarce status, it was noted at Wonersh woodland.

Anthribus fasciatus by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2_edited_edited.png

Anthribus fasciatus

The salpingid beetle Lissodema denticolle (formerly L. quadripustulata) is more of a dead twig / small wood specialist, thought to be associated with rosaceous shrubs such as Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna.

 

It was beaten from moribund Hawthorn in Wonersh woodland, along with the notable Anthribus fasciatus which appears to be slightly increasing and is a specialist feeding on scale insects on various trees, especially Oak.  Anthribus has not yet been reviewed but may well retain notable status.

Lissodema denticolle by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2_edited.png

Lissodema denticolle

Tumbling flower beetle Variimorda villosa on hogweed by Sarah Gould (CC BY-SA 2.0)  .jpg

Tumbling Flower Beetle

Variimorda villosa

on hogweed

The jet-black weevil Magdalis cerasi is a saproxylic species associated with Oaks and rosaceous shrubs. A singleton was beaten from oak at Wonersh woods.

The Tumbling Flower Beetle Variimorda villosa is thought to be saproxylic as it has been observed ovipositing on cut stumps of hardwood and softwood trees. However, its biology is not fully understood. Adults are most often encountered nectaring on flowers such as umbellifers, as was the case at The Platt.

The dorsally flattened under-bark specialist Uleiota planatus was formerly considered to be an uncommon saproxylic species afforded Nationally Scarce A status. However, it is certainly increasing and often the commonest species encountered under bark. Furthermore, some entomologists have recently cast doubt upon its nativity. Several adults were noted under bark of large diameter trunks lining the access track through Wonersh woods.

Uleiota planatus by Philippe Garcelon(CC BY 2.0) .jpg

Uleiota planatus

Coeliodes ruber by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2_edited.png

Coeliodes ruber

There are no post-2000 county records for the small, nondescript Phalacrus championi, however it is a difficult group that can only be identified by genitalia dissection. It was found by general sweeping of flower-rich areas at The Platt.

The red weevil with attractive white banding Coeliodes ruber

was beaten from its host plant Pedunculate Oak at Shamley Green.

Lastly, a species with no current status and thought to be adventive, but a population may have established in south Hampshire (VC11): the large and attractive scarab Oxythrea funesta was noted nectaring on a Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium flower at Shamley Green in early July. At the time this was thought to be a new record for Surrey as the species is not included in the Surrey beetle checklist (Denton, 2005) or its subsequent updates in the entomological press. However, I am informed that there is a confirmed but unpublished record from an East Horsley garden in 2018. It is yet to be established if this species is breeding in the county

Scarab beetle Oxythrea funesta by Gail Hampshire   (CC BY 2.0) .jpg

Scarab beetle Oxythrea funesta

Diptera (True Flies):

Chorisops nagatomii by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2_edited.jpg
Soldier fly Chorisops nagatomii
Oxyna flavipennis by Gilles San Martin (CC BY-SA 2.0) .jpg
Oxyna flavipennis

The soldier fly Chorisops nagatomii is widely scattered and local in Surrey. It is a woodland and wood edge species, beaten from foliage at The Platt.

Gymnosoma rotundatum by Vlad Proklov(CC BY-NC 2.0).jpg
Gymnosoma rotundatum

The tachinid fly Gymnosoma rotundatum was formerly a very restricted rarity (RDB3), but has since begun to expand its range. It is a parasitoid of shieldbugs in open habitats and is likely to be downgraded to Nationally Scarce when the group is reviewed. An adult was observed nectaring at flowers at Lords Hill.

The pretty picture-winged fly Oxyna flavipennis is associated with Yarrow Achillea millefolium, where its larvae induce galls in the roots. An adult was swept from the host plant at Lords Hill and identified by national Diptera expert Peter Chandler.

Hymenoptera (Bees, Ants, Wasps & allies):

The ground-nesting solitary furrow bees Lasioglossum pauxillum and L. malachurum have both increased dramatically in recent years and are likely to be demoted when the group is reviewed.

The Dandelion (Taraxacum agg.) specialist Andrena fulvago is also a ground-nesting solitary bee, perhaps more worthy of its status.

Mining Bee Lasioglossum pauxillum by Nigel Jones (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) .jpg
Lasioglossum pauxillum
Heriades truncorum by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2_edited.jpg
Heriades truncorum

 

 

The sawflies are not a reviewed group and as such have no conservation designations. However, of note is a record of Janus cynosbati in association with oak at Wonersh woods. This is a very distinctive sawfly that I have never knowingly seen before, despite the host plant being very common. The larvae feed within oak twigs. I suspect that this is a fairly uncommon species and therefore worthy of note.

Conversely, Heriades truncorum, also a solitary species, nests in holes in dead wood, hollow stems and occasionally holes in mortar. This, again, was recorded at The Platt.

Many of the bees recorded during the survey were from Wonersh Green and The Platt, which provided a reasonably rich flower resource.

Lasius brunneus by Ryszard (CC BY-NC 2.0).jpg
Lasius brunneus

The brown tree ant Lasius brunneus is a saproxylic species that appears to be spreading and is quite common in Surrey.

Other Groups:

Dusky cockroach by Dann Thombs (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).jpg
Dusky Cockroach Ectobius lapponicus

The Dusky Cockroach Ectobius lapponicus is not uncommon on the heaths, commons and downs of Surrey, but it is encouraging to note an established population of this species at The Platt.

The predatory bug Nabis pseudoferus was also recorded at The Platt and is the rarer counterpart of the common Nabis ferus.

Nabis pseudoferus by Joao Coelho (CC BY 2.0)  .jpg
Nabis pseudoferus
Arachnida (Spiders & allies):
Jumping spider Ballus chalybeius by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2_edited.jpg
Jumping spider Ballus chalybeius

The arboreal jumping spider Ballus chalybeius is largely south-east restricted with widely scattered and fairly localised records elsewhere. In its south-east stronghold the species has likely become more frequent in recent years, especially in Surrey. However, this species was recently elevated to NS status in the recent IUCN review. It is a predatory arboreal specialist associated with woodlands, scrub and scrub edge habitats. It was beaten from foliage at all sites but Shamley Green.

A further notable jumping spider Marpissa muscosa is the largest representative of the family Salticidae in the UK. Similarly to the previous species it is generally common in Surrey and associated with dead wood, from moribund trees to fencing and was noted on dead wood (trees) at Shamley Green and Wonersh woodland.

Marpissa muscosa by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2_edited.jpg
Jumping spider Marpissa muscosa

Also recorded was the Wolf spider Pardosa tenuipes (formerly Pardosa proxima). This is something of an enigma with regards to habitat preferences and can turn up in unexpected places, such as gardens. The range is mainly southern restricted and coastal with scattered inland records, again likely climate driven. Adults were swept from grassland vegetation at Lords Hill.

Pirate spider Ero aphana by Nikk (CC BY 2.0).jpg
Pirate spider Ero aphana

The pirate spider Ero aphana was formerly a very scarce (RDB2 – Vulnerable) species of heathlands in Surrey. In the past few decades it has become more widespread and is now found away from heathland habitats with increasing frequency, which is probably climate driven. Pirate spiders specialise in hunting other spiders. A single adult was recorded by beating foliage at Lordshill.

Money spider Trematocephalus cristatus by Benedikt (CC BY-SA 2.0) . .jpg
Money spider
Trematocephalus cristatus

Another notable arboreal specialist is the minute money spider Trematocephalus cristatus. This species has become more common in Surrey during the past decade but is still very localised and scarce nationally. It was beaten from foliage at Wonersh woodland.

All the photographs on this page have been licenced under Creative Commons and were sourced from Flikr.com

We are very grateful to the following for the use of their images:

Abdera biflexuosa by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Alder leaf beetle Agelastica alni by Gail Hampshire (CC BY 2.0) 

Andrena fulvago by Gail Hampshire  (CC BY 2.0) 

Anthocomus fasciatus by Jean-Raphael Guillaumin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Anthribus fasciatus by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

Chorisops nagatomii by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Cinnabar moth by Derek Parker (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Coeliodes ruber by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dusky cockroach by Dann Thombs (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Eulagius filicornis by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gymnosoma rotundatum by Vlad Proklov(CC BY-NC 2.0)

Heriades truncorum by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the spider's web by Christopher (CC BY-NC 2.0) (Page heading)

Jumping spider Ballus chalybeius by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Lasius brunneus by Ryszard (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Lissodema denticolle by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Marpissa muscosa by Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Mining Bee Lasioglossum pauxillum by Nigel Jones (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Money spider Trematocephalus cristatus by Benedikt (CC BY-SA 2.0) .

Nabis pseudoferus by Joao Coelho (CC BY 2.0) 

Oxyna flavipennis by Gilles San Martin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pirate spider Ero aphana by Nikk (CC BY 2.0)

Scarab beetle Oxythrea funesta by Gail Hampshire   (CC BY 2.0)

Tumbling flower beetle Variimorda villosa on hogweed by Sarah Gould (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

Uleiota planatus by Philippe Garcelon(CC BY 2.0)

White admiral butterfly Limenitis camilla by Aah-Yeah (CC BY 2.0)