Garden Challenge Update – Autumn 2023

The garden challenge is still ongoing so please continue to send any records to GNS News editor ( (preferably verified by the relevant county recorder where necessary).

Records are welcome for any taxa, from gardens or other local public spaces.

Our target species for 2023 continues to be woodlice and there are considered to be five common species “the famous five”, to look out for:

Common rough woodlouse (Porcellio scaber)

Common shiny woodlouse (Oniscus asellus)

Common striped woodlouse (Philoscia muscorum)

Common pill woodlouse (Armadilidium vulgare)

Common pygmy woodlouse (Trichoniscus pusillus)

Some links for online ID and recording help are on the GNS website ( In addition, the autumn is a good time to watch out for and record Fungi. The Dean Fungus Group meet regularly and contact information can be found at

Also, if you have any flowering ivy in your garden/public space, this can be a real draw for invertebrates in the autumn when other forage is scarce. Whilst a number of species are attracted, keep an eye out for the Ivy Bee Colletes hederae. This looks similar to a honey bee but is solitary and flies late in the year. It can partly be distinguished by the yellow-orange hairs on its thorax and head. More info can be found online including Ivy plasterer bee – Bug Directory – Buglife or from our county recorder.

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