Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

New Hopper / Confusion

One of the bits I still had in pots to ID from the square turned out to be a new leafhopper for me. I netted a few of these by swiping willow; I was actually swiping the catkins but obviously caught leaves and twiggery in the process. Anyway, it's spot on for Metidiocerus rutilans.

Meanwhile, that Abia sp. sawfly is proving to be a pain in the arse. It has characters that fall between the two species - so not sure which is predominantly correct and how good the key is (Mike Hackston, but I'm relying on feedback from Andrew Green on the sawflies FB group). Unfortunately though, with buggering about with the specimen the antennae fell off and are lost. It has microsculpturing on the mesonotum (top side of thorax), giving it a slightly leathery appearance that is not so shiny - good for Abia aenea. However the mesosternum/mesopleura (underside of thorax) is quite plain between deep punctures and is very shiny - good for Abia lonicera. It should have microsculpturing on both features or not on both features - not a mix! Prior to losing them, the antennae as far as I could make out are also good for female A. aenea (no significant bulge on seg 4).

I can only hope that more of these are munching on my Lycestria this year. I will be keeping an eye out it the hope of emerging adults in the next week or so after this cold snap - more snow flurries today!


Gibster said...

That's so cool, Abia hybridus has long been expected to show up in Britain, so well done to you! I tend to encounter loads of hybridus (of various genera but Sylvicola and Stenus stand out head and shoulders above the rest) along with quite a few mixta and a good helping of indistinctus too. Happy days, just say it with confidence and tick the bugger :)

Ali said...

Used to do weight training to this record back in the day. not sure I could do 8 minutes these days