Sunday, 5 July 2009

A new Hedgerow

And a fine one. A long country lane running east-west with pasture on both sides, flanked by Ash, Hawthorn and Elder. The verges have been allowed to flourish unhindered and I saw many new species and a few old friends.

First, a new species to me, and a very scarce one. The Hogweed leaf-mining Phytomyza heracleana. A few Irish records.

The Parsnip Moth eats the flowers of Hogweed and other umbellifers. Once a group of florets has been consumed, they march off to find another unoccupied one. This one was about to be repelled by the inhabitant of the umbel to the top left (notice the hidden larva, level with its head, to the left.)

A hoverfly that I see very rarely, and photograph even more rarely: Cheilosia illustrata.

An Ectemnius sp. wasp. This one was nectaring, but the whole family are hoverfly-killers. Notice the hinged antennae that can be raised to cover the face. In the upper position the antennae give the face a yellow centre, like many hoverflies. The antennae also look much smaller in that configuration, and appear to emerge from the top of the head, just like a hoverfly. This allows the wasp to approach hoverflies without scaring them off. Reverse mimicry in action.

Earlier in the week I showed a female Ghost moth that came to light. This is the male. These are supposed to smell of goat, so I didn't bother sniffing it.

An as yet unidentified leafhopper. Work ongoing:

A fine hedge, and one that I'll return to soon.

1 comment:

Gill said...

Nice page - and a particularly fine hoverfly portrait.

Those hoverfly-mimicking wasps are incredible aren't they? I see them occasionally but haven't yet managed to get a pic.