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Welcome to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre

Species records: 6,747,335

April species of the month: Bee-flies (Bombylius spp.)

Bee-flies (<i>Bombylius</i> spp.)

There are only four members of the genus Bombylius native to the British Isles and of those only two are recorded in Sussex; the Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) and the Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor). B major is the commoner and more widely distributed of the two whereas B. discolor is be more coastally distributed and restricted to the far east of the county and the eastern Downs. One thing is certain we don’t have many records of either species, only 205 for B. discolour and 910 for B. major.

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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: 6,747,335

April species of the month: Bee-flies (Bombylius spp.)

Bee-flies (<i>Bombylius</i> spp.)

There are only four members of the genus Bombylius native to the British Isles and of those only two are recorded in Sussex; the Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) and the Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor). B major is the commoner and more widely distributed of the two whereas B. discolor is be more coastally distributed and restricted to the far east of the county and the eastern Downs. One thing is certain we don’t have many records of either species, only 205 for B. discolour and 910 for B. major.

More »

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Latest news

Clubtail Count 2018

10 April 2018

Clubtail Count 2018
Clubtail Count 2018

Join the quest for this elusive dragonfly.

The Common Clubtail Dragonfly is a near threatened species restricted to a handful of unpolluted, slow flowing rivers in England and Wales. We desperately need to understand the population size and distribution of this dragonfly to conserve it, but records for this elusive species are patchy and dated.

We intend to change that.

We are calling on all nature lovers to join us in the search for this beautiful insect. No previous experience in dragonfly identification is needed, we will teach you all you need to know to find this local specialist.

You can give as much or as little time as you like, with all efforts making a valuable contribution to the conservation of a symbolic riverine dragonfly.

It is fun and simple: take action now!

If you live near the Sussex Arun visit our website to book your survey square now!

If you have any questions, get in touch with our Conservation Officer, Genevieve Dalley.

Visit www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/content/clubtail-count

Download the BDS Clubtail Count 2018 poster here

 

PoMS

14 March 2018

Andrena haemorrhoa

Solitary bee Andrena haemorrhoa visiting orchard flowers - photo by Nadine Mitschunas

Epistrophe grossulariae

Hoverfly Epistrophe grossulariae and pollen beetles Meligethes sp. on Hogweed flowers - photo by Martin Harvey

Pan-traps

Pan-traps in a crop field - photo by Claire Carvell

PoMS Lab processing

Specimens from pan-trap samples being sorted in the CEH lab

FIT Count

Carrying out a FIT Count - photo by Claire Carvell

Andrena haemorrhoa

Solitary bee Andrena haemorrhoa visiting orchard flowers - photo by Nadine Mitschunas

Epistrophe grossulariae

Hoverfly Epistrophe grossulariae and pollen beetles Meligethes sp. on Hogweed flowers - photo by Martin Harvey

Pan-traps

Pan-traps in a crop field - photo by Claire Carvell

PoMS Lab processing

Specimens from pan-trap samples being sorted in the CEH lab

FIT Count

Carrying out a FIT Count - photo by Claire Carvell

With the help of many volunteers, this project aims to collect robust data on the distribution and numbers of pollinating insects, to help inform research into the conservation of this vitally important group of species.

One part of PoMS is an intensive sampling survey across 75 1km-squares in England, Scotland and Wales, and this is the part of the project for which we are seeking help.

The other part of PoMS is a public participation “FIT Count”, see below for more details.

One-km square survey
For this survey we are seeking volunteers to ‘adopt’ their nearest 1km square, either individually or as a small team of people. The network of squares can be seen at: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/sites/default/files/UK%20Pollinator%20Monitoring%20Scheme_posterv2.pdf.

In particular we are seeking volunteers for three squares in your area: for West Sussex: one square near West Itchenor and another near Southwater; for East Sussex one square near Brighton.

We’d be very grateful if you could spread the word among your networks to see if anyone is interested in taking on one of these squares. For anyone volunteering we will set up a meeting with a CEH member of staff at the chosen 1km square location for the first survey visit (due in late April 2018). We’d then ask volunteers to visit the square on 3 further occasions during summer to set out and take in water-filled pan traps. These need to be set out between 9 and 10am, and then collected in 6 hours later, with the insect specimens being returned to CEH (where the bees and hoverflies will be identified to species level, and other insects analysed at species group level).

Volunteers are also asked to identify flowering plants (to species level where possible) for some measures of flower abundance in the immediate vicinity of the traps, and to carry out some FIT Counts (see below) during the middle part of the day (but there is typically some ‘down time’ in the middle part of the day).

All the kit, maps and recording forms would be supplied by the project, and access permissions are already in place. Species records will subsequently be shared via NBN, subject to agreement with landowners.

The four sampling days are potentially quite hard work in open countryside! Volunteers will be contributing to a national scientific project that is providing good-quality evidence for changes in pollinator populations. See also the video guide at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZo8sZcZfvM

Read on for details of the FIT Count (which is a simpler survey that can be done by anyone at any location with flowers) - please pass on those details as well, but anything you can do to put us in touch with potential volunteers for the 1km surveys will be especially appreciated.

Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count)

Can you help us count pollinators? Take part in the FIT Count by counting insects visiting a target flower patch over a 10-minute period. Anyone can take part in the FIT Count, at any location where there are flowers and insects, so please do spread the word! Full details and downloads of guides for the FIT Count are available here: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/pollinator-monitoring#takepart

See also the video guide at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuTiPEJI8rQ&t=12s

Martin Harvey
on behalf of the PoMS team
CEH and project partners

 

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