Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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I think it was Winston Churchill who said: "To improve is to change:to be perfect is to change often." Then again, he also said: "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

And so, with the vain hope of improvement and no loss of enthusiasm, I am starting this particular update in a slightly different way. Whilst you peruse these first couple of additions, I shall creep away to change my togs again; after all.. "To improve is to change: to be perfect is to change often."

On first sight do you see anything wrong with this image? 

It struck me right away that the image on the packaging is of a hoverfly. A harmless hoverfly! I determined to write them and point out the error of their ways, just to satisfy myself really, because I can't see that little old me can make any difference. I fired of a 'snotty' email thus:

A couple of days later, this reply arrived:

A worthwhile exercise for me? Who can tell, but at least I feel better for alerting them. There is way too much misinformation out there already.


Included in a separate email, from a different source today, was this (well worth sharing) howler...


So.....(Don't you just hate how people start every sentence with the word 'so'?) I know it irritates me. Yes, I know I just used it here.............so? I recently read an article by somebody called Christina Sterbenz in the 'Business Insider' who proclaimed: "The "so" boom is likely a natural progression of language — not a spinoff of tech-industry jargon. And it's helping us communicate better. "

Before you run away with the impression that I am a miserly old f**t who likes nothing more than to moan thricely, and yes, I did just invent that word.......so? I guess moving on might be appropriate? So...

The Orange Ladybird ( Halyzia sedecimguttata)

Oh! Whilst you were looking at that photograph I consulted the great Lord Google, who informed me that I did not invent the word thricely. Damn, not as creative as I thought then.

I couldn't say whether this year has been a bad one for our ladybirds but for myself, I have found that my tally of species is low for 2016. As of today, I think my total is 12 which is reasonable I suppose, but lower than some years. Of course, we are not done with 2016 yet.

More from my trip in April (maybe 'trip' is not the right choice of word for San Francisco?)

1.) Pyrgus communis: The Common Checkered-skipper
2.) Leaf-footed Bug-poss: Leptoglossus occidentalis (similar ones)
3.) The American Bison (Bison bison), also commonly known as the American Buffalo
4.) Pyrgus communis again
5.) Crab Spider-poss: Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus ferox)

6.) Johnson’s Jumping Spider-Phidippus johnsoni
7.) Unknown Sawfly Larva
8.) Lace Bug: Tingidae

9.) Lygocoris sp. Poss L.pabulinus (Common Green Capsid)
10.) Crab Spider poss: Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus ferox)
11.) Bold Jumping Spider: Phidippus audax
12.) Hoverfly: Poss Myathropa sp.
13.) Unknown Hoverfly Larva

Not my very best photography but I think I was a little overawed by the whole experience, plus I had a reduced macro-kit because of the traveling. I loved the jumping spiders though and would have brought one home to the UK if I could! 


Back in 2012 I found a bug that hadn't been recorded locally for quite sometime...

 Identified as Cimbex connatus, a species of sawfly larva which was last seen in Kent 108 years ago. Well yesterday, after a break of almost exactly 4 years, I spotted another...

Apparently this sawfly is increasing in numbers at some rate now. The expansion of Cimbex connatus in the UK might be linked to the increasing use of Italian alder trees

I aslo found this Figwort Sawfly larva (Tenthredo scrophulariae)

A wet hopper...

A female Speckled-bush Cricket...

And this miniature drama...

Again, this isn't a brilliantly detailed picture but the mite here is about 2mm long and so you can imagine the size of the unfortunate springtail it is feeding on.

And strangely this is a bug that I usually find in the garden but instead, was my first sighting of a Rhopalid bug in Comfort's Wood...

Rhopalus subrufus-A Rhopalid Bug

And so dear friends it is time to draw the curtains on yet another blog update. Thank-you for taking time to read, or even just look at my photos...


  1. Another cracking read and wonderful pics to accompany the blog as usual! Love the Leptoglossus (no expert on the other species, but I think L. zonatus has those orange patches on the pronotum). Fantastic to see wild bison too! What a fabulous trip you had! Can't believe it was so long ago that you went. Doesn't time fly?

    Well done you for contacting Lloyds pharmacy as regards their packaging. Someone has to speak out for the insects when they're misrepresented in such a way!! As you say, they already get enough bad press. Shall look out for this packaging in a few months time to see if they've taken your comments on board!

    1. Maria,
      Thank-you for your continued interest and comments. I think you are 'spot on' ;-) with that ID 'cos looking again, L. occidentalis does not have those markings. The bison were fabulous to see, I agree. Yeah, the trip was AMAZING and I can't wait to return.

      It will be interesting to see if anything changes regarding Lloyds packaging-I would like to think so.


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