Friday, 2 December 2016

The Ultimate Bug Hunt 2017 (Help Needed!)

Seven-spot Ladybird
As 2016 is nearing an end and as I had so much fun looking for the 40 species for the Strumpshaw 40 challenge (with the weasel still evading me), I have decided to start a new challenge for 2017. What I am going to do next year is pretty much a bug hunt, the Ultimate Bug Hunt. Throughout the year, I want to explore the world of the invertebrate like I've never done before. I will try to visit as many habitats within and just beyond Norfolk's borders in search for as many species of minibeast as I can and understand more about them.

So why have I decided to do this? Well, I believe a lot of us misunderstand them and choose to squish them under a shoe rather than to learn about what they are and what they do. Invertebrates are creatures without backbones and are a diverse group ranging from insects, spiders, snails, crabs, octopuses and so many other small animals that live just below your feet. They are extremely important to the world we live in, from recycling dead animals and plant matter to fertilizing the soil and to being food to the furry and feathery critters that we all love. Though I am not a complete expert on all these creatures or know the name of every single species (which is impossible as there are thousands of species of invertebrate out there), I want to learn a bit more about them and to cure a few phobias that I have as well as to try and promote awareness of them to you, the viewer.

Hairy Dragonfly
As well as exploring the various habitats that they live, I also have a list of target species I want to find next year. All of them are chosen for either being beautiful to look at, have fascinating behaviours, are important to the ecosystems that they live in or just because I have never seen them before. Many of them are common and easy enough to find, but others are more local and only appear at certain times of the year, making them harder to find. Its these scarcer species that I want your help with.

Garden Spider

My target list contains about 30 species, but most of them I know where to find them and have some people who can help me look for some of the others that I don't. However, I have at least two species that I have know idea where to even look and I am hoping that you can help me.

Stag Beetle

The stag beetle and the emperor moth are both extremely beautiful, large, iconic and impressive insects. They are also increasingly scarce and localised. I have always wanted to see them but I don't know where to find them. I do know, however, that a stag beetle hotspot is Colchester in Essex, so if you are from there or if you know where to find them in Norfolk, please let me know! As for emperor moths, I once saw a caterpillar of one in north Norfolk a few years ago but never the adult which I really want to see. If you want to help me out or have any other suggestions of species to look for that I would have never had thought of within the East Anglian region (preferably in Norfolk), let me know in the comments below. Thank you!
Garden Snail and Black Slug


  1. Hi Sean. I can't help with Stag Beetle (I've not seen one either), but there aren't any populations in Norfolk as far as I know. Ipswich on the other hand does have a good population, so I would advise trying one of the parks there and looking for old logs. If you want to see an Emperor Moth then you can buy pheromone lures that apparently work very well at attracting the male moths - you can get them from Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies - Good luck!

    1. Thank you vey much James. I will try my best. Feel free in alerting me to any news you might hear, it would be of great help.