Field Trip Report April 2012

WNFC Members Pond Dipping in the Kettle Hole

The April outing took place on Saturday 21st April at 2pm at a wetland pool in Screen Hills, Curracloe with Dr. Stephen McCormack leading the ‘What lies beneath – an introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates’.

Bruce, Marion and Bernie enjoying a specimen

The meeting place was Hotel Curracloe, and then everyone headed on to the ‘Kettle Hole’ pool situated at the edge of the Screen Hill complex. This outing was a continuation of the very successful lecture given by

Male Common Newt
Stephen at the Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig on Thursday 5th April. Twenty-eight people turned up to enjoy the afternoon, which turned out to be a warm sunny, but blustery afternoon. The threatening black clouds, just to

the west of our pond dipping group, remained just that, threatening, with a maximum of half a dozen large drops of rain falling shortly after everyone arrived – so no discomfort or problems on the weather front

Jaws of the Great Diving Beetle

Wexford Wildfowl Reserve had kindly loaned pond dipping nets and trays and there was no shortage of volunteers getting their feet wet, collecting samples from the pond. It wasn’t long before the identification

Dr. Stephen McCormack

process was in full swing and discussions on how the various species interacted with each other in their watery habitat. Everyone really enjoyed seeing Smooth Newts, male, female and nymph, ‘in the hand’ and the ferocious Great Diving Beetle larva – one can see why they can give such a sharp nip – those poisonous jaws are decidedly threatening. Various dragonfly and damselfly larva were also trapped and there were really interesting selections of all sorts of water invertebrates, spiders and even fish caught. Don Conroy, Alan McGuire and Chris Wilson recorded part of the occasion for their new ‘Wexford’s Wild Heritage’ Radio Series that is starting on SE Radio in May.

SPECIES RECORDED

BIRDS: Gannet (out at sea); Pheasant; Moorhen; Lesser Black-backed Gull; Swallow; House Martin; Wren; Starling; Yellowhammer.

AMPHIBIANS: Smooth Newt – Triturus vulgaris (2 male; 1 female and 1 juvenile).

FISH: 1 Roach – Rutilus rutilus.

INVETEBRATES: Water Measurer – Hydrometra stagnorum; Water Scorpion – Nepa cinera; Water Boatman – Sigara agg.. Wolf Spider – Pirata piraticus; Pond Skater – Gerris sp.. Water Cricket – Microvelia reticulate. Leaf beetle – Phaedon cochleariae. Caddisfly larvae – Rhyacophilidae agg.. Mosquito larvae – Family of Culicidae; Predatory Diving Beetles: Colymbetes fuscus, Rhantus suturalis; Great Diving Beetle larvae – Dytiscus marginalis. Leech – Theromyzon tessulatum. Dryopid Water Beetle – Dryops luridus. Aquatic Earthworm – Eiseniella tetrahedral. Noteridae Diving Beetle family – Noterus clavicornis. Aquatic Mite – numerous species. Water Hoglouse  – Asellus aquaticus. Hydrophilid Water Beetle – Cymbiodyta marginellus and Enochrus coarctatus. Backswimmer – Notonecta glauca. Aquatic Weevil – Poophagus sisymbrii. Black-headed Reed Climbing Ground Beetle – Demetrias atricapillus. Stenus pallitarsus. Stenus binotatus. Aquatic Spider – Argyroneta aquatic. Diving Beetle – Ilybius ater and Ilybius fuliginosus. Small Diving Beetle – Hygrotus inaequalis and Hygrotus versicolor. Darter Dragonfly nymph.
Haliplid Water Beetle – Haliplus lineatocollis. The Terrestrial Spider – Tetragnatha extensa.

PLANTS: Bogbean – Menyanthes trifoliate.