Rearing ladybird larvae – an experiment

To help identify a few of the tricker species out there, recently, I’ve been experimenting by rearing ladybird larvae at home.

Rhyzobius chrysomeloides in Tyneside

Recently, I was delighted to discover a population of the inconspicuous ladybird, Rhyzobius chrysomeloides, in Tyneside.

Exploring the scarcer ladybirds of Newcastle

While out and about in search of ladybirds this last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to stumble across a number of scarce and unusual species

Winter ladybirds on conifers

Continuing this year’s Ladybird Year List and capturing records for the North East Ladybird Spot, the last few weekends have been spent admiring winter ladybirds conifers. Scots Pine, Larch, exotic Lodgepole and Black Pines, even the odd spruce. Havannah Nature Reserve near Dinnington first and few visits to explore the site’s conifers turned up aContinue reading “Winter ladybirds on conifers”

The North East Ladybird ‘Year List’ begins

With the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s fantastic North East Ladybird Spot launching this week, most of this weekend has been spent searching for these colourful insects at various sites across Tyneside. A January pastime I would never have considered a few short years ago that now, knowing where to look, is becoming somewhat ofContinue reading “The North East Ladybird ‘Year List’ begins”

Ladybirds in Newcastle

Keen to further explore Newcastle’s ladybirds as part of the North East Ladybird Spot, last weekend I set off for two local sites that I seldom visit. The first, Newcastle’s Great Park, a new suburb of the city located four miles from the city centre, and the second, the well-known Havannah Nature Reserve near Dinnington.Continue reading “Ladybirds in Newcastle”

Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 1)

The last few weeks have seen countless bee species emerging across the North East. The annual appearance of these colourful invertebrates providing the ideal opportunity to reacquaint myself with the common and abundant species found close to home but also, as restrictions ease, to set out in search of a few new and exciting species.Continue reading “Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 1)”

Eye-catching Invertebrates at Gosforth Nature Reserve

Owing to a diverse mosaic of habitats, including plentiful dead wood, Gosforth Nature Reserve is a fantastic place at which to indulge a fascination for the North East’s smaller wildlife. This Rhinocerous Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum) was, without doubt, the star of the show last week. A first for me, this glossy, cylindrical beetle (a male)Continue reading “Eye-catching Invertebrates at Gosforth Nature Reserve”

Bringing the wilds home: a backyard experiment

The problem with living in any city, whether that be London, Manchester or, like me, Newcastle, is that space is often at a premium. Large expansive gardens and idyllic personal grottos are few and far between and, more often than not, residents are forced to make do with small, confined and often uninspiring spaces. LivingContinue reading “Bringing the wilds home: a backyard experiment”