Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Busy time

The burst of good weather has produced lots of new photographs (which bring associated research), and I have been working on a new project doing wildlife surveys with schools in the area, so things are a little busy.

The leafmining fly Agromyza minuscula mines Meadow Rue as well as the Aquilegia in my garden. I have no Meadow Rue near my patch - it tends to be coastal near here - so the flies have travelled quite some distance to find this alternative food source.

Foxgloves tend to creep up on you. One day, they're a rosette of leaves, the next they're in full bloom the whole length of the spike:

Last week, I showed a male Bombus lucorum; this one has found a new queen:

I'm amazed at the size difference. The males will now die off, and the new queens will go back to their nests and act as workers until next year when they go off to make their own new nest. The queen is certainly Bombus Lucorum s-s, which confirms my belief that I have both B. lucorum s-s and Bombus cryptarum on my patch.

Meadow Vetchling has added a lot of yellow to the verges, now. The various Cinquefoils are next, followed by various St. John's Worts and the Birds-foot Trefoil.

I often think the people who gave names to various species in the 1700's and 1800's had a sense of humour (or they needed some light relief from their intense work). This is the wasp-mimicking hoverfly Sericomyia silentis, which has to be the noisiest hoverfly around. It's certainly louder than the bumblebee:

There are plenty of moths around at the moment (sorry, Weaver). This is a male Golden Swift:

I did quite a bit of research on this image because I have often seen these bright orange phoretic mites, and always on Limoniidae Crane Flies:

Limoniidae are often aquatic as larvae, but some feed on fungi. These phoretic mites are also known to feed on fungal spores, so it looks like these mites (which belong to the spider family) are simply using the Limoniidae as transport between fungi.

Finally, some more moths that came to light:

Clouded-bordered Brindle - Apamea crenata - which feeds on grasses as a larva:
Common Marbled Carpet - Chloroclysta truncata - which feeds on woody plants:
And Dark Arches - Apamea monoglypha - another grass feeder:
New to me.

I also updated my species index.

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