The Shropshire Cranefly Atlas has landed!

N Jones, licensed under Creative Commons

We're delighted to report that FSC has a new publication - 'Shropshire Craneflies'. As well as being an up-to-date cranefly distribution atlas for Shropshire, it also includes a set of identification keys to the 245 taxa recorded in the county.

It follows on from the first Shropshire Cranefly Atlas, published in 2007, which contained 4200 records of 233 species. Fieldwork since then has generated 5800 new record, making the new atlas is vastly more comprehensive, utilising 10,000 records and adding 12 new county species. All 870 whole tetrads, plus a further 65 part tetrads around the edge of the county, have now been recorded.

Cranefly Atlas cover

Significant areas for craneflies include the dingle woodlands of Ironbridge Gorge, the wetlands of the Meres and Mosses and the calcareous habitats of Wenlock Edge, Oswestry Hills and the Wyre Forest. We're extremely lucky in Shropshire to have so many different habitat types within one county (ok, we don't have coasts!). This, as well as the support offered by the FSC, the Wildlife Trust and others, is one of the reasons it is such a great place to be an entomologist.  For example, this atlas is one of a number of publications examining the distribution of some of Shropshire’s invertebrate groups. This follow an upsurge in entomological interest in Shropshire that can be directly attributed to the work (and ongoing legacy) of Invertebrate Challenge Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 'Invert Challenge' was lead by Pete Boardman, the author of the new Atlas.

You can purchase the Atlas from the FSC's publications department here. Congratulations Pete and all the recorders who contributed records to the Atlas. A great achievement.

You can see online atlases for Shropshire earthworms, shieldbugs, orthoptera and springtails, the latter of which Pete is also heavily involved in, here.