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Nationally Scarce Hoverfly found at Ely Wildspace

T primusAs part of a wider survey of hoverflies in the Ely area this year, which reached a total of 76 species and over 1000 individual records, Mark Welch found an unusual species of small black hoverfly – Triglyphus primus feeding on umbels at the Wildspace on 16/8/2015. This fly has, on close inspection, diagnostic features that distinguish it from other similar members of the tribe Pipizini: it has only two prominent abdominal segments visible (segments 2 and 3; segment 4 is very small) compared with other Pipizines which have three clearly visible (segments 2, 3 and 4). This fly has “Nationally Scarce” status.

Rare hoverfly recorded in Ely

Clear abdominal markings

A rare hoverfly was recorded at a site close to the Wildspace.

The Anasimyia interpuncta was caught by budding amateur entomologist Mark Welch. These beautiful flies have been been recorded at only at Wicken Fen and Woodwalton Fen, in Cambridgeshire. Now we have added a third site in our very own “back yard”. Keep your eyes peeled for these enigmatic little flies because they could also be in the Wildspace!

Ragwort pulling in Soham

Are you interested in exploring another local SSSI, that might be less familiar than Ely Pits & meadows? Would you be willing to volunteer to pull ragwort on one of the units of Soham Wet Horse fen SSSI (notified for its community of grassland flora)?This event will take place on 10:30 Sat 20th July. Please contact us for further details.

Schoolchildren go wild

Several school groups have been visiting Ely Wildspace over the past few weeks as part of our educational programme. On 13 June two year 3 classes from Ely St John’s joined Liz Hunter for environmental art activities, and on 25 and 27 June Liz ,Ben Green Pam Bullivant and Helen Moore spent the mornings introducing year 4 children to some of the wonderful wildlife that lives on their doorstep. Thanks to Mrs Geeson, Ms Blakeman, Mrs Wills, Mr Firth and the children at ESJ for all their enthusiasm. Do contact Ely Wildspace (lcpre@elywildspace.org.uk) if you would like to arrange a visit to the Wildspace for your school.

Bloomin’ marvellous

On Saturday 22 June, a group of volunteers led by botanists Ed Tanner and Tim Inskipp undertook our annual survey of the plants of Ely Common. This is the third year that we have surveyed the Common and we are slowly building up a picture of plant diversity and relative abundance over time, which will help to identify the impact of current management and opportunities for improvement. This year we identified 63 species on the Common including Red Fescue, Common Sorrel and Dewberry. We recorded the partially parasitic plant Yellow Rattle for the first time, an exciting addition to our records. Adder’s-tongue fern, a scarce plant with more chromosomes than any other organism, has spread to new locations on the Common and seems to be thriving. Thanks to all those who took part and made the day a great success. (Image: Tim Inskipp)