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Insects

Many of our members enjoy exploring the North East in search of fascinating insect life. Our members play an important role in recording and monitoring insect species in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham.

Burnet Moth © Olive Taylor

In the What’s On section of this page you can see forthcoming insect talks, field trips and activities organised by the Society Entomology Group. All Society members are very welcome to come along to these friendly events, whether you are a beginner or an expert. We often run events jointly with the Society’s botany group as many people are also interested in learning more about insects’ plant hosts.

Our Entomology Group is led by Dr Gordon Port. If you would like to get more involved and help us to plan, organise or run a talk or field outing for Society members then we would love to hear from you, please get in contact with us via the Society Office.

Recent Activities:

2014-15

In 2015 we organised a series of insect activities to tie in with the summer Spineless exhibition at the Great North Museum and to encourage more people to take an interest in insects. These activities were really well attended and the feedback has been excellent, so we hope to do more in future. We started off with our annual Bugs & Botany event in June and despite the weather there were plenty of insects.

We are grateful to Anne Porter (Durham Wildlife Trust) and Dave Liddle (Durham County Council) for an excellent trip to Waskerley to see Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and learn about their conservation. Also in June Louise Hislop and Gordon Port ran a bee workshop at Cockle Park Science Centre. In July bad weather nearly put pay to Steve le Flemings outing to Bishop Middleham Quarry but the main target species, Northern Brown Argus butterfly was still seen.

2013-14

In June 2014 Ken Dawson and Cathleen Thomas led an outing looking for butterflies at Havannah Nature Reserve where 6 species were on the wing including the sought after Dingy Skipper. Several day-flying moths were also seen, notably Silver-ground Carpet, and other insects of interest included Common Blue Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly. Also in June, Cathleen led a well attended introduction to Ladybirds at the Great North Museum. Despite the overcast weather we managed to find several colour forms of 2-spot Ladybirds, 10-spot Ladybirds and 1 Harlequin Ladybird.

The week after was the Bugs and Botany day, this year held at Newcastle University’s new field station at Cockle Park (pictured). This event was organised by the University’s School of Biology and the Royal Entomological Society. Over 20 people visited through the course of the day. Much of the day was spent collecting and examining insects that were collected with nets, traps etc – the light traps also produced moths of great interest. Janet Simkin showed us some of the botanical research that is being done especially the Palace Leas plots. In July Paul Drummond and Tom Tams organised a moth trapping event at Gosforth Nature Reserve with a good selection of species recorded. Unfortunately we had to cancel the planned dragonfly walk at Derwent Valley in July due to rain.