Having spent the morning on useful but boring activities, by lunch time I was raging to be out and about, and after checking the weather forecast for Trench Wood, I decided to complete the trip I aborted on Saturday.
The weather forecast lied.
Luckily it's woodland (the clue's in the name), so I managed to avoid getting too wet when the rain rolled through, though I was listening quite intently for any hint of thunder. Despite patchy light, showers, and a gusty wind, there were plenty of inverts out and about, and I had a good time chasing around after them. I've posted some of the highlights to Facebook, if you'd care to take a look.
I was turning over aspen shoots to check them for Aspen Leaf-rolling Weevils when I found this tiny leafhopper. I love leafhoppers, but the feeling never seems to be reciprocated, and I had a demon of a job trying to photograph this one - holding the shoot with one hand, while working the (big) camera with the other, as the hopper, which is only about half a centimetre long, scuttled back and forth. It didn't fly away though, and I was grateful for that at least. Fifteen minutes later and fifty metres further on, after rain had stopped play and saved this victim from further photographer-induced stress, I found another specimen of the same species on a different sapling, and it's that one that appears in my Facebook post.
In my experience you can drive yourself to hysteria trying to identify leafhoppers - and even when you think you've managed it, the chaps at the recording scheme quite often downgrade your record from species level to genus, on the grounds that some of the little blighters require microscopic examination for a definitive ID. Not that I'm bitter.... But anyway, I turned my app (Obsidentify) on this one, and it suggested a few possibilities for me to consider. And having considered, I'm prepared to take a punt on it being Populicerus populi, and see what the experts have to say.
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