Notes on various insects, Dingle, Co. Kerry, July 1854
|Notes on various insects, Dingle, Co. Kerry, July 1854|
NOTES ON VARIOUS INSECTS CAPTURED OR OBSERVED IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF DINGLE, CO. KERRY, IN JULY, 1854. So few districts in Ireland are, as yet, known entomologically the study of insects appearing to have been the last in attracting attention from most Irish naturalists hitherto that the briefest records of species found in any new locality become of value, as tending to furnish a better knowledge of their relative distribution throughout the country. With the view of promoting this object, and of supplying a guide to those who may hereafter visit the same district, I submit to the Association the following notes on various insects captured or observed by Mr. Haliday and myself, while spending a week at Dingle, last July. The paucity of the numbers will, at once, strike the reader ; but he must not forget the shortness of our stay, or the season of the year, which is not so prolific, in most insects, as the earlier and later portions of the summer ; at the same time, as the weather was very favourable (except on one unfortunate occasion, that of our ascent of Mount Brandon), we must confess that our opinion of the district, as a whole, is, that it is decidedly barren, and by no means one for any entomologist to visit, who is not prepared to sacrifice the filling of his boxes to the chance of finding some new or rare species. That the latter is not an improbability, however, is evident from our discovery of one or two new Diptera, and of the larva of one of the Microlepidoptera, besides the capture of several specimens of Tetanops myopina (of which but a single British specimen had before been known), and of several Lepidoptera, &c., new to Ireland. Thus much by way of preface. The localities are enumerated in the order in which we visited them, with lists of the various species found at each common and uncommon. Ferriter's Cove a small inlet of the sea, close to Ballyoughteragh, which is a coast-guard station between Dunurlin and Sybil Head. Under stones and seaweed, Staphylinus maxillosus (with the var. ciliaris, Stephens, not uncommon), Omalium rivulare, Diglossa mersa and its larva (the first instance on record of the occurrence of this species on the west coast of Ireland), Serica brunnea. On the sand-hills, Broscus cephalotes, Calathus mollis, Cytilus varius, Coccinella 11 notata, Otiorrhynchus atroapterus, Philopedon geminatus, Quedius fuliginosus, Philonthus varius, Oxytelus depressus, nitidulus, Stenus speculator, Bombi in the flowers of Eryngium ; Asilus cingulatus, Thereva annulata, cincta, Aphrosylus ferox (var. with legs and antennae black), Anthomyia albula. Fin., Actora sestuum, Ochthiphila flavipalpis, Chlorops rufifrons ; Tetanops myopina (rare), not so much among the sea-reed, as on the sand more thinly sprinkled with low tufts of Triticum, &c. Lucina fasciata was looked for, but not found. On the banks of a little stream winding through a hollow below the coast-guard station, Anchomenus albipes, Schoenomyza littorella, Beris clavipes in extraordinary abundance on Umbellifera in flower. From this spot we ascended Sybil Head, a hill gradually sloping at the land side, but presenting to the Atlantic a precipitous face of 900 feet. Half way up the hill, a specimen of Myllaena gracilis was found ; Synuchus vivalis, Calathus cisteloides, Harpalus ruficornis, fulvipes, Cryptohypnus obscurus, Cremastus spectator, Porphyrops cirripes, Dolichopus atripes, nigripennis. On the summit, Otiorrhynchus monticola, a minute Phora, having much the appearance of a Chersodromia, as well as many more common insects, such as as well as many more common insects, such as Tachinus rufipes, Philonthus varius, Anisotoma picea, Brachypterus urticae, Athous haemorrhoidalis, Haltica tabida, &c. Many small moths were flying among the tufts of grass, and might have rewarded attention, but we did not disturb them, our attention being almost confined to Coleoptera and Diptera. The same remark is applicable to other localities visited by us, particularly to Mount Brandon ; however, it was only the diurnal Micros that were in any plenty ; for the entire neighbourhood appeared singularly destitute as regarded butterflies. Our next entomological day was spent at the lovely Bay of Ventry, at the end of which are sands of some extent, and at the angle nearest the village itself a little stream, the sedgy banks of which looked very tempting ; nor did they altogether disappoint us, as the following testify : Elaphrus riparius, cupreus, Trechus aquaticus, Anchomenus marginatus, dorsalis, Calathus mollis, cisteloides, Harpalus ruficornis, seneus, Amara familiaris, Loricera pilicornis, Broscus cephalotes, Carabus granulatus, Serica brunnea, Onthophagus nuchicornis, Aphodius merdarius, sordidus, &c., Simplocaria semistriata, Philopedon geminatus, Coccinella 11 notata ; Pompilus plumbeus, Tryphon elongator, Cremastus spectator, Meteorus rubens, Microgaster russatus, Eurytoma verticillata (?) ; Stratiomys viridula, Actora aestuum ; Gelechia marmorea in abundance, a species not before noted as Irish. But a more interesting spot was the Blasquet Islands, the most westerly extremity of Europe, which we were peculiarly fortunate in reaching, as it is only in fair weather they can be visited in safety. The Great Blasquet rises to a considerable elevation from the sea, and is inhabited but at one side, that looking towards the land, and facing Dunquin ; where, on the sunny slope of the hill, various crops of grain, &c., are cultivated with very fair success. Here, curiously enough, though we were hardly able to spend two hours in collecting, there appeared much greater vigour of insect life than at any spot on the main land (of the same extent) ; and the cliffs and sandy coves rewarded our search with Cicindela campestris, Carabus granulatus, Cychrus rostratus, Nebria brevicollis, Bembidium flavipes, celere, littorale, rufescens, Trechus aquaticus, rubens, Bradycellus fulvus, pubescens, Harpalus ruficornis, aeneus, Amara fulva, familiaris,Pterostichus melanarius, nigrita, Anchomenus Isevis, albipes, Synuchus vivalis, Calathus mollis, Ocypus olens, Staphylinus maxillosus, Quedius molochinus, Philonthus fucicola, umbratilis (?), Aleocharaobscurella, Horaalotasocialis, Tachyporns chrysomelinus, Stenus speculator, Aploderus caelatus, Silpha atrata, var. subrotundata, opaca, Cercyon melanocephalum, Simplocaria scmistriata, Serica brunnca, Adrastus limbatus, Otiorrhynchus monticola, rufifrons, Haltica tabida, Sphajroderma testacea; Mellinus arvensis, Odynerus parietum ; Pieris brassicse; Pachyrrhina histrio, Scatopse bifilata,W/A., Leptis lineola, Empis stercorea, Tachydromia arrogans, Platypalpus flavipes, Coelopa frigida, Actora cestuum, Halithea fucorum, maritima, Orygraa luctuosa, Sepsis cynipsea, Piophila atrata, Psilomyia bicolor (on Tanacetum vulgare), &c. Among these are included two or tbree species (Bradycellus pubescens, &c.) found on Beginnish, a smaller island, tenanted by sheep only. The following day was fixed for ascending Mount Brandon (3,130 feet in height), which, according to the last survey, is the second highest mountain in Ireland, yielding only to the two summits of the Reeks, Carrantuohil and Cahir. At first we seemed to have obtained an auspicious morning, for it was the first on which we had seen the summit clear of mist, and the sun shone pleasantly as we went up ; but mountain mists are proverbially unworthy of trust, and when we had almost reached the summit, at a little past noon, one of them came on, and, gradually thickening into a dense rain, compelled us to descend far more speedily than was at all agreeable, with but scanty trophies of our attempt. Leistus montanus, Calathus nubigena, Arpedium brachypterum, were looked for without success on the summit. Only the following were noted as occurring so high up : Cychrus rostratus, Carabus catenulatus, Nebria nivalis (abundantly, the red-legged variety scarce), Patrobus excavatus, Trechus aquaticus, Othius 6 punctatus, Xantholinus punctulatus, Quedius variabilis (?), Falagria obscura, Lesteva bicolor (var. collina, with short wings and elytra), Catops montivagus (?). On the ascent, Carabus granulatus, Notiophilus aquaticus (the usual dark variety of the hills), Aphodius rufipes (abundant), Ceutorhynchus ericae, Thrips ericae, Ulopa ericas, Tipula excisa, Sch., Porphyrops cirripes, Dolichopus atripes, Campsicnemus curvipes, &c. Our last day was devoted more entirely to collecting than any o the previous had been ; other objects of interest connected with the people of the district having divided our attention with its fauna. Starting by the Ventry road we crossed the mountains to Smerwick Bay, and commencing near the rocky extremity where stood an ancient Spanish castle, Fort de L'Or, we searched, for some time, along the edge of the sea, where the Ogham stones lately stood, and then turning inland, across the extensive sands of Gallerus, ended our investigations by the banks of a rivulet which winds its way through them for a considerable distance. The list beneath will show that, with the exception, perhaps, of the small spot explored on the Great Blasquet, Smerwick formed decidedly the best place for collecting that it was our lot to find. On the rocks left bare by the ebbing tide, among multitudes of the ordinary Diptera occurring in such situations, a new species of Aphrosylus* was found, along with A. ferox ; Geranomyia unicolor on the face of the cliffs,; Canace nasica, Gelochia marmorea, abundant among the tufts of sea reed the larva of G. atrella on Anthyllis vulneraria Sitones tibiellus on the same the pupa of Agrotis fumosa in the sand ; also, Depressaria badiella (not hitherto recorded as Irish), liturella, with Ephippiphora brunnicliiana. At Gallerus sands, Carabus clathratus (dead, far out towards the sea), Cercyon melanocephalum, haemorrhoidale, Aegialia globosa, Phylloperthahorticola(var. suturalis), Aphodius fimetarius (var. autumnalis), Cytilus varius, Philopedon geminatus, Otiorrhynchus atroapterus. In the streamlet, Gyrinus marinus, Orectochilus villosus, Hydroporus depressus, reticulatus, &c., Ploa minutissima; on its banks, Elaphrus riparius, cupreus, Anchomenus marginatus, albipes, Harpalus fulvipes, Pterostichus nigrita, Hydrocampa nymphaealis, potamogalis, and Harpalyce chenopodiaria, Bembidium littorale, Adrastus limbatus, Omalium rivulare, Staphylinus pubescens, Quedius fuliginosus, Xantholinus punctulatus, Aleocharalanuginosa. To the above must be added the produce of a morning's walk to Conner Hill,
- A. celtiber, described and figured in this number.
and some species taken at Dingle itself, or on our way to and from Ventry Tinea fuscipunctella, Otiorhynchus monticola, Ste., Cionus scrophulariae ; Drapetis lunata, not rare under stones, on a rushy bank, at the entrance to the Causeway leading to Burnham, before the dew was off the grass, for in the afternoon it was scarcely to be found. Near the summit of the pass at Conner Hill (about 1,000 feet elevation) occurred Leistus spinilabris, Pterostichus melanarius, nigrita, Harpalus fulvipes, Olisthopus rotundatus, Patrobus excavatus, Trechus aquaticus, Quedius variabilis, &c. ; Tipula excisa, Sch., Diamesa ammon, Wlk., waltlii, Bibio pomonae, Leptis scolopacea, Tachypeza nervosa, Dolichopus atripes, Porphyrops cirripes, &c. As an appendix to what I have now detailed, I think it right to add some species found after Mr. Haliday and I had parted company, and while we were each yet within the limits of the county Kerry. An endeavour on my part to find Pelophila borealis at Killarney, in the locality indicated by Mr. Furlong namely, under stones, on the margin of the Lower Lake, close to the Lake Hotel produced a few specimens of Argutor erythropus, Anchomenus albipes, laevis, Agabus bipustulatus, and Orectochilus villosus. Mr. Haliday has furnished the following notes of proceedings along the southern shore of Dingle Bay, &c. :A. H. H. crossed in a small boat from Ventry to Coolnanna Creek, near Cahirciveen ; the favour of the wind quickly failing, and the current setting fast down the bay, caused a rather tedious pull across, under a heavy drizzle, which nearly hid the coasts. This left time only for a walk to Valentia ferry about sunset; the evening wet and blustery ; neither time nor tide favouring entomological researches. The only beetle seen on the shore was Anchomenus lavis. The shingle swarmed with the usual Diptera, Coelopa, Orygma, Halithea, Limosina. On some tufts of sea-pink, yet spared by the fretting tide, a few Aphrosylus ferox ; and among the wet gravel a single specimen of Clunio marinus* was observed, which, however, eluded capture in its slippery habitat. The only locality where this species had been found previously having been since cut off and altered by a railway embankment, its occurrence in another and very remote part of the coast, was not without interest. Proceeding next morning to Rossbegh, a few days were spent in renewing acquaintance with the varied and lovely scenery around that sequestered spot. Some entomological notes were made, though several species found on a former visit, at a later season of the year, were missed on this occasion. On the shore at Carragh Creek, Cillenus lateralis occurred the first recorded instance of its western range in this island ; Diglossa mersa and larva, Cercyon littorale and depressum (f ) .Diptera were numerous ; Campsicnemus loripes in profusion ; C. alpinus occurred on the wet rocks, with Hydrophorus nebulosus ; Porphyrops cirripes along with pulicarius, Aphrosylus ferox, Coelopa sciomyzina, Medeterus jaculus, truncorum, muralis, Glenanthe ripicola.(f) In the bed of little runlets of the ebbing tide, Scatella aestuans in myriads, rising with an audible buzz ; with these, in smaller numbers, Canace nasica* and Anthophilina gracilis. Nanodes lythri was in abundance on Lythrum, and Haltica lutescens on Labiate. At the mouth of Glanbegh river, Bembidium tibiale; Sericostoma collare, rather common among the bushes ; and Hilara flavipes in clouds over the stream. Rossbegh. sands produced Tetanops myopina (f), Chersodromia incana; Anthrocera tilipendulae, Leucania impura, Agrotis tritici (in several instances dead, adhering to the heads of the sea-reed), A. fumosa, Gelechia marmorea, with its parasite Bracon marmoreus, n. sp. (of the same division as B. stabilis, Wsm.) ; Colletes fodiens, Crabro dimidiatus; Onthophagus fracticornis, and nuchicornis, Saprinus asneus, nitidulus, with other coprophagous beetles, especially Cercyones and Aphodii, among which the small yellowish var. of A. fimetarius, which is properto the downs, merdarius and sordidus; Dromius foveolus, and Corticaria cylindrica, Mnhm. (?), at the roots of the sea-reed ; Apion (?) on the stems. At the extreme point of the sands, connected by an isthmus of gravel, overflowed by the tide, the hollows are deeper, and the reeds more luxuriant, intermixed with Serratula arvensis, Pteris aquilina, and tangled, in parts, • Figured. t Described and figured.
with the creeping Rosa spinosissima. Here Cryptophagus ulicis was common in the flowers of Serratula, no furze being near ; Lycaena alexis and Camptogramma bilineata flitted among the reeds ; Oxybelus uniglumis nestled in the hollows, and a new Dolichopus was found.* Along the inner edge of the sands, where a flat grassy margin bounds the tide, two specimens of Hydrophorus praecox appeared, but not H. lacustris, of which several specimens had been found in September of a former year. Rhaphium maritima; was abundant, and singularly variable in size. The next halting-place was at Milltown, near the Castlemaine river, the "slob" (silt) of which, banked off from the marshy meadows that skirt it, offered very tempting spots ; here a waving forest of tall reeds, among which the rising tide was noiselessly stealing ; again, a reach bordered with Carices and Aster tripolium, the consolidated mud outlying strewed with river waifs, with here and there a gravelly bank guarding a flat patch of sward ; the embankment rank with a variety of herbage, and the drains fringed with tall Umbelliferae. But the produce was not proportionate to the promise. The Coleoptera were few, chiefly Homalotas, Steni, and Ochthebii, O. bicolor, rufomarginatus,f on the mud among the stems of the reeds, O. punctatus at the confluence of the Laune and Castlemaine rivers. Coccinella 7 punctata and 13 punctata in plenty on Aster ; Strophosomus retusus, Apion craccae on the herbage of the embankment. Loricera ccerulescens, Bembidium concinnum, aeneum, obtusum, assimile, Pterostichus erythropus, on the slob ; Anchomenus micans by the bed of the Laune. Neither Amara convexiuscula nor Paederus riparius occurred, which were taken previously by Mr. Furlong in this neighbourhood. Of Lepidoptera, Harpalyce populata, Crambus culmellus, and aquilellus were the most abundant ; Cerapteryx graminis, Apamea didyma, and Leucania pallens, also occurring among the reeds. On the spikes of Carices, &c., a Phloeothrips was common, which might have passed for P. statices, did not the paler colour of the larva, occurring with it, mark specific difference. A large Arytaena (sonchi, Frst ?) was common on an umbelliferous plant on the shore. Diptera were abundant, but not in great variety. Chrysops relictus as frequent as the Haematopotae, Empis livida, Scatophaga scybalaria, Notiphila uliginosa, Myopa ferruginea, Sericomyia borealis, Helophilus pendulus, Dolichopus diadema, plumipes, nubilus, Rhaphium maritimaa, flavicolla, pallipes, pumilum, Porphyrops spinigerellus, pulicarius, cirripes, Chrysotus spp., a Geomyza,! seemingly nondescript, among the reeds on the slob. Culex detritus was abundant ; Corethra plumicornis less so. Towards the bay, Glochina stigmatica was not rare on the short herbage, with Symplecta stictica, similis (?). Between Killorglin and Glen Carragh there are a number of small lakes, with peaty and gravelly bottoms. Here Gyrinus marinus and minutus were in profusion, with Hydropori of common kinds ; but Gyrinus bicolor, found here by Mr. Furlong, was sought for in vain ; G. natator was scarce, and G. celox not observed at all ; Corynoneura minutissima, Mg., abundant along the borders. The only specimen of Carabus clathratus found (living) during this excursion, was here ; Anchomenus marginatus also. From Rossbegh, a visit to Blackstones, reached by a short and romantic ride over the hills, afforded a few hours collecting among the native woods of the valley. Coleoptera were singularly scarce here ; a few Cyphones, Halticae, and Coccinellae ; little beside. Phryganidae abundant, Chimarrha marginata the most striking among them. Among the gnats, Aedes cinereus occurred here first. Wiedemannia bistigma was hawking about the foaming edges of the " black stones" above the bridge. In an open, marshy spot, among the bushes, occurred Eriocephala allionella, Encyrtus scutellaris, Dolichopus notatus, &c., and Aleuodes quercus and Phibalocera quercana on the oak. The best capture of this day was a specimen of Melicerta ochroleuca, Steph., on an oak, another having been taken a few weeks before at Blarney, which, with one found many years since at Holywood, in a like situation, and the mutilated specimen in the late Mr. Stephens's collection, upon which the genus was founded, are all the examples known of its occurrence hitherto.
- Described and figured, D. praetextus. t Figured. t G. cinculata, described and figured.
Described and figured in the present No. (Heptamelus ochroleucus.) A few days spent at Killarney returning, (in the first week in August), afforded little to note. Aedes cinereus occurred again, chiefly in a disused swampy gravel-pit, at the entrance of the causeway which leads to Dinis island. Leja pulchella on umbelliferous flowers by the road below Tore mountain, where it was first found by Mr. Curtis. Brachystoma longicornis, Diadocidia ferruginosa, Mycetobia pallipes, Dolichopus discifer, atratus, atripes, serosus. Sphegina clunipes, and Peplomyza litura, not unusual in the woods ; Leiopus nebulosus and Strangalia armata. Othius pilicornis (first found here by Mr. Furlong), under bark of felled pines, with Khizophagus cribratus (?). Ocypus olens was in unusual abundance. Ascending Mangerton, by Glen-na-cappul, a white-flowered variety of Pedicularis palustris was observed, not rare, on the hill side, east of the middle lake of the glen ; and near the precipitous masses of rock which guard the upper outlet, dripping with moisture, and tufted with Sedum rhodiola and other Alpine plants, Leistus spinilabris occurred, at an elevation of more than 2,000 feet. On the summit of the mountain, enveloped in a cold, driving mist, Leistus montanus was sought in vain on this occasion, only Nebria nivalis and Lathrobium elongatum occurring under stones resting on the black peat. A walk up the gap of Dunlo afforded an apterous Aphis, at the roots of Ranunculus flammula, in such plenty that the ground seemed sprinkled with little flocks of bluish-white wool ; and the banks of a rivulet, near the Black Lakes, produced Cryptostemma alienum.* About the rocks in the upper lake some specimens of a Halithea were observed, but the ticklish footing did not admit of their capture. This genus is usually confined to the sea coast, so that the attention of other visitors is invited to determine what species it is which frequents the lake.