Top 10 Species of 2014

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Anonymous (not verified)
Top 10 Species of 2014

Right, Sarah started this on the PSL Facebook Group. Now we're switching it to this site. I reckon this could grow to an interesting feature as the years go by.

So, have a think and let's hear about your Top Ten Species of 2014. Just a quick list if you like. No need to go into massive detail if you don't want to (course if you did want to go into lots of detail we've a whole page dedicated to Blogs...)

So who's gonna start the ball rolling?

Top 10 Species of 2014

Slight cheat on this one, ten catagories but more than 1 winner in each catagory.

Bugs - Velia caprai (Water Crickets) at Cranfield, Beds because they gave an entertaining display of rushing around as well as being striking to see. Corizus hyoscyami, Amwell and later in my garden because they are so beautifully coloured and patterned.

Moths - Metalampra italica, on my back door because it took my breath away as soon as I had it under the lens. How beautiful the small can be.

Lichens - Chaenotheca hispidula, Tring Park. All the Chaenothecas are just great to see with their little pin apothecia, but this one was made better by the company of the special people I was with.

Beetles - Tansy Beetle, Wood Walton Fen, a jewel in a gorgeous setting. A wonderful place and the first time I saw any of that strange group the PSLs ;-). Geotrupes mutator (Violet Dor Beetle) on Therfield Heath, it just walked straight through the middle of our group whilst we sat eating lunch; huge and shining bright. Again I was with special people.

Plants - Ammi majus (Bullwort), Therfield, lots of it in a field. On spotting it I knew there was something different about it but couldn't put my finger on why (umbels!). Ajuga chamaepitys (Groundpine), Chipstead Bottom, I've wanted to this plant for 45 years and finally made it after reading North Downs and beyond; a lovely thing.

Birds - Terek Sandpiper, Covenham Res, Lincs, down to about 18 feet. A both curious looking and beautiful bird; the stripes, the bill, the feet, leg colour. Common Cranes, Amwell, a county and patch tick but it was one of those just being lucky to have been there momments. They flew through from the north, elegant and huge, and headed out south. It was one of those take your breath away occassions, where you get that rush from joy and amazement.

Fish - Greyling and others, Kimbridge. Not always the easiest things to see well are fish, but on this trip there they all were in the shallow water giving great views. Through bins you could pick out the colours and scale patterns. Probably under appreciated. Part of a good day thanks to the help of Seth.

Fungi - Pycnostysanus azaleae (Rhodo Bud Blast), Northaw Great Wood, brilliant when you see it. Seth put me on to looking out for it. Pandora neoaphidis (fungus on adhid) Cranfield, Beds, whilst on a Bioblitz it was picked out and shown to me, amazing and macabre - not fun if you are an aphid, but an eye opener.

Diptera - Two picture wing flies. Tephritis neesii and Terellia tussilanginis, both Herts. I've largely blanked on flies till this year but they can be both beautiful and astounding under a lens. These two are pretty ones.

Molluscs - Ancylus fluviatilis (River Limpet), Derbyshire. Whilst on a lichen survey with Sorby Nat History Soc, the leader pulled a rock out of the stream and said have you seen River Limpet before. Like little shark's fins on a rock. Brilliant. I didn't even know they existed. Nature sometimes thrills and delights the inner child.


The truth is everything I see is as good as everything else. It's all wonderful. The more you see and learn (regardless of if you find it yourself or someone shows it to you) the more complex you realise it all is and in that complexity there is an outstanding wonderfulness and beauty that has taken 3600 million years (+/-) to get to where it is. Explore it all; look with the eyes of a scientist, an artist, a philosopher and a child. Remember other people see other things in it and derive there own pleasure. But most of all love it and try to protect it. Pan listing is a bit of frivolity but if those records get recorded good can come from it.

Here's to 2015. Hope your year is good.

Gibster (not verified)
Just brilliant!

What a truly fantastic opener! Under the circumstances, I don't think anyone minds the slight cheat. Glad to have had a wee bit of input into your list too, was a pleasure.

So - who fancies spilling the beans next? :)  

My top 10

In no particular order and i'm sure i'm missing out some of my more exciting finds?...


1. I would say those two new British Millipedes but this numpty has been seeing them for the past 2-3yrs and noting them as something else. So its going to be Anamastigona pulchella (Millipede), a new site for these.

2. Cryptops anomalans (Centipede), finding plenty in several gardens in Risca, near Newport

3. Phaeostigma notata (Snakefly), found drowning (still alive) in someone’s swimming pool in Usk.

4. Osmylus fulvicephalus (Giant Lacewing), found near Cilfynydd while an a Botany outing.

5. Limonium paradoxum (A Rock Sea-lavender), seen at St David’s Head.

6. Phenacolimax major (Snail), finally got around to finding a live one…in winter to.

7. Leptinus testaceus (A blind Beetle), 5 found while searching through a mouse nest. Found close to the P. major above. The nest was running alive with Fleas...three speices all of which were new for me.

8. Choleva jeanneli (A Beetle), found while searching through another mouse nest.

9. Tuberolachnus salignus (Large Willow Aphid), came across many while working in a customers garden. Now I’ve got my eye in for these they seem to be popping up all over the place.

10. Arion cf. fagophilus (Slug) , one of those new species that’s recently been added to the British list. I was shown these so its not on my PSL.


Regards Christian

My top 10 for 2014

No surpise that spiders feature heavily here, nor that I really should be finishing off the remaining spider dets.. 

10 Stegania cararia - Ringed Border (Moth) at Parke. Right place right time, and that feeling of I-dont-know-what-that-is-but-its-going-to-be-good

9 and 8 Tipula montana (crane-fly) and Elaphrus lapponicus (carabid) at Cairnwell - I dragged a reversed leaf blower up a mountain as I'd been persuaded to take the road less travelled rather than hit the known sites, so by rights I should put down Lepthyphantes complicatus the one good montane spider I recorded, but it was the PSL bycatch of a montane crane fly and a stunning purple carabid that make the list.

7 Cetraria nivalis - lichen, cairngorm. - there's a bunch of montane spiders I could put here.. but instead.. it was that rare thing an easily identifiable lichen, a cracking looking one, and one that I found for Nicola.

6 Dipoena torva - spider at Abernethy. Fluke, first tree I looked at had a male of this amazing little ant busting spider. Part cylon, part spider, part tank.

5 Urocera gigas - Giant Wood Wasp (a sawfly) - just stunning

4 Sabacon viscayanum-ramblainum - a harvestman - Devon - went looking for one rare harvestman, failed to find it, found this instead.

3 Pellenes tripuncatus - jumping spider - Rye Harbour - we went to try and see this in 2013 but the weather was appauling and we missed it, we returned in 2014 but the spider hadn't been seen since the winter had flooded the area.. so it was great to find it still present, and its such a stonking thing

2 Cryptachea blattea - a spider - second for the country, but the real joy here was pursuing something that I couldn't find in the literature.. I had to use the standard PSL tools of nouse + internet. If only I'd read my BAS back issues I'd have save myself some time, but it wouldn't have been as much fun.

1 Lathys stigmatisata - a spider - not a new species for me, but.. the only Devon record for this rare spider was by the arachnologist, naturalist and author Bristowe, he found it on Lundy in 1929, and his survey of the island reads like it was yesterday, so it was in the footsteps of a arachno-hero, to refind it at the same place, 85 years later.

Here's to all the PSL'rs  having lots of their own great finds in 2015

Happy New Year !!