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Helina evecta
find out more... Helina evecta male 20150908-4058 Copyright: Phil Collins

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
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The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Sun 31st July 2016 09:28 by Peter Harvey
I added to my original reply because I gave more explanation to my thinking, believing this would be useful. In any case none of this is criticism, and I assure you it was certainly not intended as such. In terms of the value of records and observations, these are just as valuable for widespread species as for rare or declining ones.

Perhaps my frustration at iSpot came through. Last year a record was supposedly confirmed by BWARS on iSpot for a species which is only found on extensive areas of high quality southern heather heathlands, has never been recorded in Essex even in the distant past, and is extraordinarily unlikely to be found in the county today. After being sent more photos by the photographer, one photo clearly showed the wing venation of the expected species, which is widespread in Essex, not the heather heathland one 'confirmed' by iSpot. Accepting this record as a new county record would have done no one any favours.

I think the moral here is that iSpot is very useful, like our own Facebook page, but that it has severe limitations in what can be accepted by accurate recording schemes. As long as everyone recognises this, then there is no problem.

Sun 31st July 2016 08:58 by Peter Pearson
Bombus ruderarius
I have no objections to constructive critism and fully agree that records should be correct otherwise there is little point in making them in the first place.
It was the way the criticism was presented in the first place, and you obviously had second thoughts about that or you would not have changed your log.
Sun 31st July 2016 08:21 by Peter Harvey
All I have done is explain why I think the iSpot confirmation you had is wrong and that your photos did not show Bombus ruderarius, but instead male lapidarius. Do you not think I should not comment and express my specialist opinion? This is also what iSpot is for surely. The result otherwise is that an incorrect record gets added to a county and national database for a potentially important species.
Sun 31st July 2016 07:58 by Peter Pearson
Bombus ruderarius
Dear Mr Harvey, I note that your first reply to my entry regarding the sighting of Bombus ruderarius has been completely re written. I have deleted that entry as a result. I feel that the coments made were quite unnesesary. Requests for information from ordinary everyday observers are frequently being made by the "experts" who then seem to reject them out of hand. I dont think that I can bring myself to report further sightings, however important, as this is not the first time I have been made to feel uncomfortable by comments made.
Thu 28th July 2016 22:33 by Peter Harvey
Dear Peter I think there is no doubt at all that your photos are of a male Bombus lapidarius. The two pale stripes of hairs on the thorax are just visible, and with the form of the hind tibia both indicate a male. The orange / red hind tibial hair character only holds good for queens and workers. The colour of the pale bands is extremely variable and these bleach as they age. Your BWARS iSpot confirmation is wrong.
Thu 28th July 2016 21:31 by Peter Pearson


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