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Welcome to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre

Species records: 6,856,794

September species of the month: Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)

Smooth Snake (<i>Coronella austriaca</i>)

The Smooth Snake is Britain’s rarest and most secretive reptile, now found naturally on heathlands in Dorset, Hampshire and only a very few sites in Surrey. Many of the sites on which it occurs are also inhabited by the sand lizard.

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Welcome to the website of the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, one of the many local environmental record centres situated around the UK. We provide environmental information services encompassing biodiversity, geodiversity and other aspects of Sussex’s natural capital. We cover the two counties of East and West Sussex, including Brighton & Hove, in South East England. We are a small but dedicated team of environmental data managers, naturalists and IT specialists.

The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre is managed as a partnership project, hosted by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Our partners include local planning authorities, government agencies, conservation bodies and other organisations which need access to up-to-date biodiversity information, such as water companies.

Sussex has a vibrant and energetic biological recording community with many independent recording groups and societies. By strengthening relationships with these groups, and the wider network of naturalists, ecologists and recording schemes active in Sussex, the Record Centre facilitates sharing of ever-greater amounts of biodiversity data.

Upcoming recording events:

No events in the calendar for the week ahead.

Events Calendar »

Species records: 6,856,794

September species of the month: Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)

Smooth Snake (<i>Coronella austriaca</i>)

The Smooth Snake is Britain’s rarest and most secretive reptile, now found naturally on heathlands in Dorset, Hampshire and only a very few sites in Surrey. Many of the sites on which it occurs are also inhabited by the sand lizard.

More »

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Latest news

Willow Emerald Watch

4 September 2018

Willow Emerald

Willow Emeralds ‘in-cop’ showing characteristic pale brown pterostigma. Like other emerald damselflies, this species rests with its wings apart.
Photo: Dave Sadler

Willow Emerald egg scars

The distinctive scars in willow bark left by ovipositing Willow Emerald
Photo: Michael Blencowe

Willow Emerald

Willow Emeralds ‘in-cop’ showing characteristic pale brown pterostigma. Like other emerald damselflies, this species rests with its wings apart.
Photo: Dave Sadler

Willow Emerald egg scars

The distinctive scars in willow bark left by ovipositing Willow Emerald
Photo: Michael Blencowe

According to the British Dragonfly Society’s website the Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) is a recent Continental colonist in the UK with the first significant number of records coming from Suffolk in 2009 and 2010 with more being seen in Norfolk, Essex and Kent.

The first Sussex record is of a dead specimen found near Pevensey in 1979, the species was reported again at Warnham Nature Reserve in 2004 but after that, wasn’t seen until 2016 when Dave Sadler spotted two males here at Woods Mill in September 2016. In 2017 the species was seen on numerous occasions at Woods Mill and again too at Warnham. At Woods Mill females were observed ovipositing on the branches of willows overhanging the pond, leaving their distinctive “scars” in the bark.

However, not only have Willow Emeralds been seen again at Woods Mill this year, reports have come to us of sightings in East Sussex, at Winchelsea and Broadwater Warren, the first records of living individuals from East Sussex. It appears that this species is not only becoming established in Sussex it is also spreading. The flight season is just getting underway and we would be very keen to get more records, so if you do see one of these distinctive damselflies, please either enter your records on the iRecord website or send them directly to Bob Foreman at the SxBRC.

 

The Atlas of Sussex Shieldbugs

27 July 2018

Carpocoris purpureipennis photo Derek Binns

Black-shouldered Shieldbug (Carpocoris purpureipennis), first recorded in Sussex in 2017.
Photo: Derek Binns

Carpocoris purpureipennis photo Derek Binns

Black-shouldered Shieldbug (Carpocoris purpureipennis), first recorded in Sussex in 2017.
Photo: Derek Binns

Shieldbugs are the most popular and well recorded group of the Heteroptera. They are large, readily identifiable in the field and evident throughout the summer months. With only around 50 species if you include the squash bugs, they are not too tricky to identify and online resources such as British Bugs are a real help. A few years ago Graeme Lyons, the Sussex County Recorder for Heteroptera, started to talk to the SxBRC about producing an atlas of shieldbugs but rather than go for a book, we thought an online resource would be more suited, that way it can evolve as the Sussex shieldbug recording community also grows. The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre with the help of Mark Robey (a freelance GIS specialist) put the atlas together with Graeme providing the text and most of the imagery. It covers all the Sussex shieldbugs, squash bugs, rhopalids and a few more families in there as a bonus.

The Atlas of Sussex Shieldbugs allows you to click on the 10, 2 or 1 km square you are recording in and see what species, if any, have been recorded there and how many records have been made of them. It also allows you to click on individual species and read a bit about them including their identification including a photo, how to find them and their status in the country and in Sussex. These distribution maps will grow with time as more records are made and a more complete picture of our counties’ fauna is made.

Click here to view the Atlas.

iRecord is the best way to record your Shieldbug sightings (Graeme is County Verifier) and your records will not only quickly get to the SxBRC they will also be entered into the data in the Atlas

 

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