After discovering a stag beetle outside a local picture house at the age of 10, Dave has had a lifelong interest in natural sciences. His particular interest in invertebrates has seen him become a nationally acknowledged expert, particularly in dragonflies and damselflies, hence his widely known name ‘Dragonfly Dave’.
As Dave is still a relatively new face, we wanted to shed a bit more light on his background and some of his previous work in discovering notable species during his time as an ecologist, whether that was through undertaking site surveys or having discovered them whilst he’s been off-duty.
One particular series of terrestrial and aquatic surveys Dave undertook back in 2017 and 2018 proved to be of utmost importance, where he recorded 25 protected and/or notable species, along with 6 county red date book species at a post-industrial site along an estuary. These species included: Shrill Carder Bumblebee (Bombus sylvarum), Brown-Banded Bumblebee (Bombus humilis), Reticulate Blood Bee (Sphecodes reticulatus), Silvery Leafcutter Bee (Megachile leachella), Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus), Five-Banded Weevil-Wasp (Cerceris quinquefasciata), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae), the Lackey (Malacosoma Neustria) and Hoverfly (Chrysotoxum elegans), thus making the site of at least national value for invertebrates.
At a site survey in Scunthorpe, Dave also recorded two protected and/or notable invertebrates: a solitary wasp (Argogorytes fargeii), a nationally notable B species, and a cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae), UK BAP 2007, NERC S41.
On top of working as a consultant ecologist on a variety of projects, such as residential developments and road schemes, Dave provides his expanse of knowledge on invertebrates for various key articles. One particular article of interest The Nottinghamshire Guidelines for Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) Handbook part 2A (2018), where he listed the following species groups site selection criteria:
- Bees, wasps, and ants (Hymenoptera)
- Beetles – terrestrial (Coleoptera)
- Centipedes, millipedes, woodlice and water lice (Myriapoda and Isopods)
- Dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata)
- Flies (Acalyptratae)
- Mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies (Ephemeroptera)
- Molluscs – non-marine (Mollusca)
- Shield bugs and their relatives (Hemiptera)
- Spiders and their relatives ( Arachnida)
Even when he isn’t actively working, his trained eye always manages to seek out something incredible when he’s out and about. An example of this is whilst he was attending a Field Studies course on solitary bees, led by Ian Cheeseborough and Bex Cartright on behalf of Field Studies Council at Flatford Mill. Following a presentation given by Ian that covered which features to look for when identifying the Nomada species, Dave coincidentally came across a female N. zonata at Fingringhoe Wick, Essex whilst on a site visit to the nature reserve there. He discovered the bee in a grass roadside verge, which graded into low scrub and then woodland, where it was flying low over the grassland close to the scrub edge. Dave’s identification was then confirmed by both Ian and Bex and became the third specimen of this particular species to be recorded in the UK during 2016.
It just goes to show that all kinds of notable species are right under your nose wherever you go, and Dave is a valuable asset to have on board at Baker Consultants with his unmatchable knowledge and passion for discovering and identifying invertebrates.
If you need advice related to ecology, surveys or conservation, then please get in touch with us via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on email@example.com.