Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Bad light

Even when it isn't raining at the moment, any light that we do get is horrible, but we do what we can.

The Angelica is currently covered with insects of all kinds. Most are nectaring, but a few of them use the nectaring insects as a source of their own food in a similar way that crocodiles and lions use watering-holes as prime feeding ground.

The above shot shows:

A) Ichneumonids
B) Tenthredo sp. Sawfly
C) Ectemnius Wasp
D) Tree Wasp

This nectaring Ichneumonid poses a bit of a problem. I've seen this upward-curved ovipositor a few times, but I can't really work out the purpose of that curve. Maybe it reverses into a hole and lays its egg backwards?

Sometimes you see something and you intuitively know it's new. This Leafhopper was a bit larger than the usual ones and slightly more rounded. A quick check through the references reveals that it's Aphrophora alni, and is new to me.

Similarly, this hoverfly shouted "I'm new, too", and I managed to get a few shots before it flew off. It's certainly a Melangyna sp., but that's as close as we can get without capturing it.

These are scarce at the best of times: the larvae are specialist eaters of specific aphids.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stuart,
Some interesting life there. I like your technique of lettering the photo - clever stuff.
Umbellifers are excellent platforms for insect-watching at the moment.

Stuart said...

Welcome, Rob. I love Angelica at this time of year. It's quite a strange year: a couple of plants have gone to seed already, whilst some have yet to open, so the season might be a little longer than usual.