New Hemiptera records, August 2018

Some new observations of True Bugs (Hemiptera) by lain Outlaw.


Black Locust Gall Midge

Black Locust Gall Midge (Obolodiplosis robiniae) on the Isle of Wight and some interesting parasitoids

Iain Outlaw

Although I was aware of this gall midge I hadn’t previously looked for it. In June I noticed several False-acacia or Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) trees in flower on Shanklin Big Mead so I had a look for the galls. The large trees were not easy to examine but fortunately there were also lots of self-seeded saplings close by. Checking those saplings the galls were immediately obvious so several were collected for examination. (more…)

Under the Pier 2018

The 5th annual ‘Under the Pier’ – marine wildlife exploration event is coming up soon –   – Find us on the western side of Ryde Pier (map)  (more…)

Alga Pressing workshop

Last Saturday 18th August, Dr Alice Hall led an Alga Pressing workshop for Society members at Quarr Abbey. Alice collected specimens during the morning from Bembridge Ledges – known for its diversity of marine life. The specimens were then sorted ready for the afternoon’s workshop. (more…)

Free Bat Walks this weekend

Join the Isle of Wight Bat Group and Isle of Wight Bat Hospital for a special ‘International Bat Weekend’ Event at Appley Park, Ryde later this week on the evening of Saturday 25th August 2018.

This free, family friendly event kicks off at 7pm with the first walk starting at around 7.30pm.

Click here for more detailed information.

Seaweed Pressing workshop next week…

Learn how to arrange, press and preserve locally collected summer seaweed specimens in a variety of colours, textures and sizes in this special workshop (more…)

BioBlitz 2018 – The results are in! 

405 species were observed and named – with possibly another name to come.  It was a great team effort; many thanks to all who submitted records, stayed up late and/or got up early, and persisted with identifying or confirming unusual species!

A full report and photographs of the day:

The final species list: Bioblitz Species List 2018

BioBlitz 2018 – The results are in!

This year’s Bioblitz took place in Sandown on 12th May as part of the large community festival, Hullabaloo. The recording hub was based in the Discovery Bay marquee next to the Dinosaur Isle Museum. The recording area covered the reedbeds, ponds, woodland and wet meadows of Sandown Levels to the north-east; the immediate surroundings of Dinosaur Isle including the Canoe Lake; and the foreshore north of Sandown to the cliffs and beach as far as Culver.

Moth traps were set up to run overnight on 11th but cool and breezy conditions resulted in a relatively poor catch, which unfortunately has been the trend so far this year. The weather during the day was not very favourable to insect observation either, and coupled with a date relatively early in the season, the total number of insect species was rather lower than previous years.  Just one species of butterfly – the red admiral – was seen on the wing with one more (orange tip) being found at the egg stage. Twenty-six species of moth were found in total, one damsel fly and one dragonfly and nine species of beetle.

A number of botanists worked their way across the Levels, recording both flowering and non-flowering plants. A species which has not previously been recorded on the Island was the constricted feather moss, Hygroamblystegium humile , found in the ditches. On the Pluto pavilion there was a huge concentration of the larva of the bagworm moth Luffia ferchaultella. This species has been seen in a number of places on the Island but only in low quantities previously.

The cliffs provided a good hunting ground for mosses, liverworts and lichens. The grassy edges of the car park yielded some specialist plants of dry sandy grassland including bird’s foot clover, knotted clover and subterranean clover.

The ornithologists reached a total of 49 species during the day, including a whimbrel seen on the beach in the early morning; as the main event began to wind down, two further species which had been elusive during the day, swifts and an oystercatcher, were spotted overhead.

Lab facilities were available this year and collection of water samples from the Canoe Lake and the ditches on Sandown Levels gave a new dimension to the recording. Not all species were fully named, but diatoms and tardigrades were amongst the species on view to the public.

High tide was about 10am, so from early afternoon the beach was accessible to the marine enthusiasts. Although no-one looked at the tyre pools in detail, the groynes and rocks below the cliffs had a range of crustacea, molluscs and algae. The strandline had at least ten species identified including kelps, empty shells and hornwrack, but as they may have just been brought in by the sea rather than being ’resident’ they haven’t been included in the total.

The total of 405 species observed and named – with possibly another name to come – was a great team effort. Many thanks to all who submitted records, stayed up late and/or got up early, and persisted with identifying or confirming unusual species.

Click here for the final Bioblitz Species List 2018

Summary of records by groups




Picture Gallery from the day

BioBlitz 2018 – Saturday12th May

This year the IW Bioblitz  is planned to be part of a larger community event Hullabaloo in The Bay during the weekend of 12th and 13th May 2018.

The 12th is the principal Bioblitz slot – where we’ll be recording 10am to 4pm for the majority of groups, with the evenings (Fri 11th & Sat 12th) available for those of you specialising in nocturnal species.

There are 2 main survey areas to explore:

·        The reedbeds and grazing marshes, wet woodlands and ponds and ditches (plus the boating lagoon), around Brown’s and off behind the zoo

·        The foreshore, intertidal and soft cliffs from the Sandown library to Culver – including several large areas on the red cliff where you can easily get up into the wilder parts from the beach below or from the coastal path above. Low tide is at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

The Recording Hub will be based in the vicinity of Dinosaur Isle as part of the ‘Discovery Bay’ area (look out for the IWNHAS & iWatchWildlife Flags). There will be a supply of recording sheets as in past years for those who wish to use them, and also plant recording cards, ID charts and books plus some field equipment and microscopes.

Please do contact Anne Marston – to confirm if you would like to come and be involved in the recording effort as we need to arrange car park passes asap.

If you are part of a group who would like to contribute some walks or other activities during the event, it would be best to contact suggest you Ian Boyd – directly if this isn’t already in hand.

Marine experts recording by Arc Consulting

Marine life ID by Arc Consulting

Looking forward to seeing you there and making some records!

Wildlife recording

Capturing Our Coast – Volunteer Training Day

CoCoast is a project that aims to find out more about the species that live in our seas and how we can protect them. Within the project, scientists from 7 hubs around the UK work together (more…)