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The Lepidoptera of Dinton Pastures 1990-2023

This article is by Jon Cole who writes:

Here is a link to the spreadsheet list of Lepidoptera (Leps) recorded at Dinton Pastures (DP) that I have been compiling bit by bit for the last few years (I’ve mentioned it from time to time). Despite its length it is a summary, in a sense, in that there is no information included as to location of records etc. simply because it would be too difficult to include, although, having said this, most of the metadata is available in the original source files. The task originally was just to build a species list for the park for BMG, BENHS and Wokingham Borough Council, but the source material is huge, so it became rather a mammoth exercise. There are likely to be some transcription errors I’m sure, but I’m simply unable to recheck everything I’m afraid. It’s a large list though; 738 species (including 24 butterflies), which is almost a third of the British list.

The list for DP from the Berks database was sent to me by Martin Harvey a couple of years ago but I’ve enlarged on this quite a lot as this didn’t include everything. Even lists for specific trapping events weren’t complete as often (most often) not all the people recording at an event uploaded their records. It would be helpful if event leaders nominated one person to compile the records for the night, rather than individuals reporting their own lists as some get uploaded and others don’t. I think, hopefully anyway, the one-list approach is becoming more the thing to do nowadays, but I may be wrong.

There are inevitably some species added, particularly from the early years, that at that time either weren’t expected to need to be dissected, micros in particular, or split into two or more species, so these will need I suspect to be considered unconfirmed. Many, however, were identified by the great and the good in their day, e.g. Emmet, Baker and co., so I think quite a few should have some authenticity.

I have created two charts in the spreadsheet, one that indicates the number of new species recorded per year and one showing the cumulative numbers over the period from 1990 to date. BENHS moved in in 1992. Of course, the park has evolved significantly habitat-wise during this period, but it shows I think the importance of continued recording effort at any site, albeit it rather randomly. The spreadsheet will benefit from a bit of refinement for sure, but this is all I can do for now. Beetles next, ha ha…

Anyway, enjoy, or not, at your leisure. The spreadsheet will be sent to WBC Countryside Service for their delectation and will probably be filed away somewhere, never to be seen again. That’s what happened to Peter Chandler’s 2002 report. He never even received an acknowledgement.

This is the link to the spreadsheet again.

Jon Cole, November 2023