The species you can find on a small site with simple little methods are quite amazing, I would like to introduce ponk logs. They have probably been done before John had the genius idea but I’ve not heard of it so forgive me if they have been written about somewhere in the dark depths of entomological literature. The idea is simple, after felling a tree cut a ‘waffer thin’ slice off the bottom on the trunk and place it on top of the stump. These can be checked as and when and work well on the yard whilst working, just a quick trip checking the ponk logs on dinner turns up beetles every time from a focused effort, win and win.
Whats great is that as it starts to decay plenty of opportunities arise for fungi and everything that feeds on it, then what feeds on them. It takes no time at all to lift the cap off and check whats underneath (quickly as everything shoots for cover) then replace the cap. I should have kept a list of all the things to be found under the south fen ponk logs but never have, it has been quite a productive method. The latest addition to be found was number 809 on my list (see below).
After about 2 years they really start going with many different inverts taking refuse under them…. Aren’t ponk logs brilliant?
13/11/2014, Sth Fen nr Bourne
Demetrias atricapillus – 808, found under some eucalyptus bark at the foot of the trunk, just the one and straight away I though carabid. I chose at the time not to take the specimen for two reasons, I have a lot of work on at the minute and the collection is needing a bit of an overhaul and secondly, it looked pretty distinctive. Popped this into the NBN Gateway and the results…. very common indeed all the way up to Scotland although it does tail off the more north you go.
Scaphidema metallicum – 809, the latest addition to the species found under ponk logs. Notable b species, another for the year for me, with scattered records along Notts and Lincs border. It has been found on the site before but the records (not showing yet?) aren’t up. Very small and what we was looking to find, this was nestled in some fungi underneath one of the 5 or more ponk logs set up in that particular field.