Thursday, 6 August 2009

Good old Angelica

At the moment, I'm doing little else other than patrolling the Angelica plants: they'll be gone to seed soon enough.

A welcome return of one of the later hoverflies, Meliscaeva cinctella:

Ichneumonids of various colours and markings continue to nectar: every umbel has a couple.

The first (of many!) of this year's sightings of the effects of the parasitic fungus Entomophthora muscae. The fungus kills the female fly, after having forced her to climb to a high position, open her wings and extend her legs. This maximises the opportunity for spore dispersal once the fungus has erupted through the abdomen.

Traces of the pink fungus can be seen on the back of the abdomen, to the left. The spider's web is incidental, although the fly might well have crawled through it on her last journey.

1 comment:

Yoke, said...

I love Wild Angelica.

Interesting, but horrible fungus for the fly.

I'm stuck with the ID of a little black& white spider at the moment.
Perhaps you can leave a tip?