Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Bark worse than it's bite

I put out my actinic heath moth trap last night, and had a nice selection of moths, with several new for the year. Amongst the catch was a small insect, with it's wings held in a tent-like fashion, rather like a small lacewing. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I recognised as was a one of the Psocoptera, commonly refered to as barkflies and booklice. My insect was one of the barkflies.

After some searching on the web, I found the National Barkfly Recording Scheme website. This is an excellent website, with on online key to all of the species, a gallery with excellent pictures and lots of good information about this group.

Using the information on the website, I have been able to identify my specimen as Trichadenotecnum sexpunctatum (easy for you to say!). One of the useful features are the large dots on the cells around the distal end of the wing.

Trichadenotecnum sexpunctatum

This species is associated with tree trunks and the branches of a range of deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes. A look on the NBN website also suggests that this is the first record of this species for Shropshire, though I am sure that this says more about recording effort than genuine rarity.

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