Friday, July 13, 2018

Full of Foliaciousness.....

It's Sunday July 8th, we are in the throws of a heatwave here in Kent, with temperatures close to 30c (86f) most days, for the past 2 weeks. I am sitting under a gazebo in the garden with close family (their garden actually) when I feel something tickling my arm. I look down and find the smallest bug I have seen for sometime.

My eyesight isn't good enough to make out much detail because I guess it is no more than 3mm in length, but from what I can see, it doesn't look familiar. I ask for a small box to take it home and photograph before releasing. Kerrie comes up trumps with a tiny pink box...well, Kerrie does like pink you see, she even has pink wheels on her car! 

Once I get the teeny bug under the lens, I can see that it is....well, this is what it is... 

This is a bug that belongs in the 'Tingidae' family. The Tingidae are a family of very small bugs in the order Hemiptera. They are commonly referred to as Lace bugs.

This is a new one to me and is called 'Derephysia foliacea', the Foliacious Lace bug. I think in this instance, foliacious refers to  it being leaf-like? But it doesn't look much like a leaf to me, so that could be complete bull! Perhaps it is the thin layers that it refers to?

Just attempting to demonstrate how small these are.  
They do look quite similar to the Andromeda Lace bug that I have in my own garden on the Japonica plants, but quite a bit smaller and seeming to prefer Ivy.

Andromeda Lace bug

Another newbie for me was this ladybird larva that I spotted in the garden. I had to look this one up and it is the larva of a 14-spot ladybird 'Propylea quattuordecimpunctata'. Try saying that with a mouth full of crackers and a belly full of beer! Why do some of the smallest bugs have the longest names?

Butterfly sightings (by me anyhow) have been sporadic this year. I did however spot my first Ringlet of the year recently...

It was taking the fern ladder of higher consciousness, and was on the second rung meditating, when I saw it. 

Sometimes, particularly if I am out walking the dog, I don't want to take the full macro kit with me but still cannot resist the pull of searching out invertebrates. On these occasions I rely on my phone to capture an image that may not be full of detail, but at least logs my finds. And so these next few photos are just that, phone pics...

Agroeca brunnea spider egg sac (Liocranidae)
I first found one of these strange constructions in August of last year. At that time I had no clue as to what had made it, but thanks to my Flickr friend 'Rockwolf', I now know that it is the work of a spider and contains eggs. 

Here's another spider egg sac. This time probably a garden-cross spider: well no actually! This one isn't a spider egg sac at all, rather something containing tiny Hymenoptera...WASPS. How can I be so sure? Because in September of 2017 I also spotted one of these, and watched as legions of tiny wasps emerged. 

Lots of Dock Bugs, which I usually only see in numbers like this just prior to hibernation; seems a bit early for that. Having said that, I have a Small Tortoiseshell in the house that appears to be trying to do just that. It came in about 2 weeks ago and has not moved. I shall have to deal with it at some point to ensure it survives...

Sometimes the bugs come to me...

This tiny hopper was on the car mirror when I returned after a walk one fact today!

The final three phone images then: first one is a longhorn beetle Rutpela maculata, next is one of the Chrysotoxum species of flies, possibly  Chrysotoxum bicinctum, and lastly a hoverfly that I can't identify, unless it is Cheilosia species, which are difficult to separate (not from each other like bonking beetles, but the species).                              

What is it they say about a bug in the hand?

I think that might have been slightly bastardised from the original? Anyhow, I photo'd this tiny plant bug one handed when it landed on me in the garden. With the DSLR I hasten to add, not the phone this time. By the way: doesn't the 1:1 macro make your skin look wonderful...Oooooh, I could kiss myself!
Image result for lips emoji copy and paste


  1. Lol!! I hate seeing my skin up close too! Thankfully the bug is so lovely to look at that you don't really notice the background!
    Another fascinating blog with lots of interesting sightings! Amazed at the quality of the phone shots! My phone has a camera on it, but don't think I'd achieve anything like what you do with it!
    Do think we're in for an early autumn this year.... but I'll enjoy what's left of summer before thinking about that! ;-)

    1. Hi again!
      YES this current phone seems to have a reasonable camera and it is only Android. There are lots of settings to chose from and I found out that you can even zoom when taking close up shots.

      Interesting what you say about Autumn, Whatever happens it has been a smashing summer this time around.

    2. Oh yes! A summer to remember for sure!


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