Monday, August 24, 2015

Featuring a Tipulidae threesome...

Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that I returned from Somerset and wrote a blog entry, when in reality, it was 3 weeks ago.
This strange, stop-start summer has continued and as always, there is bug-life to encounter and share...

I seem to have been 'strapped for time' (that's another strange expression when you think about it isn't it? I think originally 'strapped' meant, in financial need. (Hmmm...that applies equally.) Anyhow, I did find time one evening to go out with the camera and look for butterflies. I always say that if I have one good find, then the effort has been worthwhile, and this day proved to be so with the first Brown Argus butterfly I have seen locally in a few years...


A Brown Argus Butterfly (Aricia agestis)

Showing the upper wings

There were also a number of Skippers around too...




And a solitary Red Admiral...



Similarly, just a single White Admiral, and tatty too...


But Brimstone's aplenty...


Including this next one that seems to have one wing that failed to inflate properly when it was emerging from the chrysalis...



And then we come to one of, if not the best find of the day. This little fly is a beauty to my eyes and again, one that I haven't seen for at least the last three years...


No apologies for adding more shots...


This is Phasia hemiptera, a Tachinid fly. This species is strongly sexually dimorphic (different in appearance between male and female) with the female having orange hair patches to the sides of the abdomen, but only the males have these, curved and colourful, patterned wings.


On the way home from taking these photos, I noticed that the nettle bugs are back on the stinging nettles at the entrance to the old orchard...





Close-by, a Sawfly was busy making lunch out of another insect...

The usual reminder here that videos will not show in the emailed version of this update.





And  beside the pond, there was something of a Crane-fly threesome going on?


I'm not sure of species here but could be Nephrotoma, possibly N. crocata?                 


Meantime, back in the garden itself, in my little pond; well I like to call it a pond, it isn't really anything more than a plastic tub but the frogs love it...






Right above where these little froggies are, I spotted a small caterpillar making a cocoon and decided to try and film some of the action using the macro lens...




And this is the footage I got. It took place over about 10 minutes of action but I have condensed it here by speeding up to around x8


A lot of work for the poor thing. I looked again the following morning at it was still trying to complete the task.

The sunflowers have been attracting a few insects, which is something of a bonus as no sunflowers were planted this year. I guess they must have grown from seeds the birds dropped. I saw an unusual looking ladybird one day and it turned out to be this recently emerged Harlequin that had yet to acquire its spots..







The next 'find' was ridiculous in its simplicity. I was sitting here at the laptop, when I noticed a tiny speck on the wall beside me. As any bug-hunter will testify, you just have to investigate once your curiosity has been piqued and when I did so, I found this little weevil...



I placed it on to a leaf for a more natural looking photo...



I thought I knew at least the species of this one but, looking again, there are so many that I'm not sure now. I have no doubt that my friend Maria will know (hint) and if she doesn't, I'll eat my hat and run around the block naked! (Don't worry...you're as safe as I am from that sight!)




Whilst you try and erase that frightening image from your mind, let me offer this fresh as a daisy Rhopalid bug...



This was once again a garden spot and knowing that there are just two species resident and this doesn't look right for the obvious one of R. subrufus, i think it is Corizus hyoscyami. These are very handsome looking bugs and to find one so freshly emerged is a first for me. Here's one that looks how I usually find them...




What else can I share with you? I know, I have seen frogs by the bucket load, but I was pleased to spot this tiny toadlet recently...



The toadlet was at one end of a meadow beside a pond and there are several rhododendron bushes beside the pond also and that's where I see these colourful hoppers each year. There are plenty of the adults around now...


Graphocephala fennahi-A Rhododendron Leafhopper
If you live in the UK and spot this bug near you, then the British Bugs website are asking for people to report a sighting of this invasive species to them: www.britishbugs.org.uk


Is anybody else finding lots and lots of Green Shieldbug instars?



They seem to be all over the lower vegetation locally whenever I am out walking. As well as the 'Greens' there are goodly amounts of 'Hairies' this year as well...


Dolycoris baccarum-Hairy Shieldbug Nymphs

I think perhaps I should leave it there for this particular update and so I'll just add a picture from way back in June when I went to Canterbury to photograph the Heath Fritillaries...



Until the next time...

6 comments:

  1. Your posts are so full of goodies it is worth the wait. Such beautiful photos too. I'm glad you took the time to make the videos - the cranefly threesome is amazing, talk about desperate! I'm not sure if I've seen the red and black bug, I would have to check my database for that. Congrats on seeing the one freshly moulted, and the ladybird too!

    I check my rhodos from time to time for the leafhopper - have seen one once but never since, and don't have any photos. I've not noticed loads of shield bugs but I haven't been out as much as usual - but I am watching some eggs which have changed colour - think they are shield bugs!

    Frogs and the toadlet are cool too, although I admit I couldn't tell the difference between froglets and toadlets. Love the final photo.... :-)

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    1. Yes I have seen the Corizus bug! :-)

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    2. Thank-you Mandy. I know I am nowhere near as prolific with my updates as you are but pleased you feel it worth waiting for. Yes, I thought you HAD seen that red and black squash bug, sometimes called a cinnamon bug I think too . How exciting that you are watching eggs, maybe some interesting photos to follow then?

      Oh! Frogs and toads are not to bad to distinguish really, even at an early stage.

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    3. Hardly prolific any more - I used to try to do two a week but that was when I was finding so many interesting things to share! Of course I will take photos of what hatches out, and if it would only stop raining and now I'm feeling a little better I'll try to get a photo of the eggs the colour they are now before they hatch. They were white to start.

      I can tell the difference between toads and frogs when they are grown up. Just. I've just never read up about them. :-)

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  2. Do you know, I'm sure I commented on this entry.... must have had a blond moment! ;-)
    Can only reiterate what I've said in the past. Stonking photos and a brilliant read! I'm ever so green about your teneral C. hyoscyami!!! ;-)
    Mx

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    1. Hi Maria...

      Well you caused me to check for any unpublished comments from you and although I didn't find any, I did spot a couple from Mandy that somehow slipped through and so I owe you for alerting me to that ;-)

      Thanks as always for your comment anyhow and yes, I Knew you would be jealous of that Rhopalid bug!

      Delete

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