Introduction
Activities
Meeting Place
Publications
Programme
Membership
Contact
Recent Reports
Photo Galleries
History
Speaker
Links

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Sutton Coldfield
Natural History Society

Location of Meetings

Indoor meetings are held in one of the halls, Holy Trinity RC Church, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield. See Meeting Place for more details and directions, including a map.

Publications

Twice a year, members receive a programme of forthcoming events and a copy of a newsletter called "Four Seasons", which reports on Society activities and contains other items about natural history.

The Society is also responsible for publishing a series of booklets on .

Membership

The best thing to do is to come along to an indoor meeting and see if you like it – we only charge visitors a small fee. Then if you want to join, ask for an application form.

Currently membership is £7.50 for an individual, £10 for a household, with a special rate of £3 for students.

If you'd like to be added to our circulation list and so receive the next copy of "Four Seasons" and the programme, please tell me your e-mail or postal address – contact details below.

Contact

Address:Dr Peter Coxhead (Secretary)
Sutton Coldfield Natural History Society
71 Russell Bank Road
Sutton Coldfield
B74 4RQ
Telephone:0121 353 5044
E-mail:e-mail address

Speaker Available

Peter Coxhead (the Secretary) is available to give talks in return for travel expenses and a donation to the Society. See the list of talks available.

History

The Society was originally founded in 1919. It ceased to operate in the late 1930s, and was then refounded in 1951 by one of the former members, G Mantle Childe. For those interested, a brief history of the society is available in PDF format.

Recording and what the wasp was doing

Helconidea ruspator with Strangalia quadrifasciata, photographed during an outdoor meeting of the Society

(See the question in the introduction.)

This photograph was taken by Richard Saul during an outdoor meeting of the Society in Sutton Park. The wasp is a "braconid", a kind of parasitic wasp in the family Braconidae. There were no previous records of this family from Sutton Park, let alone the species itself. It was identified as Helconidea ruspator by Gavin Broad, a specialist at the Natural History Museum, London. Although there are about 1,000 species of braconid wasp in the British Isles, they are rarely recorded. The beetle that it seems to be following is a Four-striped Longhorn Beetle, Strangalia quadrifasciata, already recorded from the Park.

An 1889 publication describes H. ruspator being bred from a larva of S. quadrifasciata, so it's likely that the wasp is trying to lay its eggs in or near the beetle's eggs, so that its grubs can feed inside the beetle larvae as they grow.

There's some more information about this discovery on the website.

Making records and sharing them with others is one of the ways in which the Society, along with other amateur naturalists, assists in the study of our native wildlife. If we don't know what is there, we can't work to conserve it.