Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Still more new

The Buff Tip moth - Phalera bucephala - is instantly recognisable due to its astonishing similarity to a snapped twig. I hadn't seen it in the flesh, although I recognised it quickly enough. It's new to me, as are the next four species. The high number of new species I'm finding at the moment is almost certainly due to the excellent spell of hot weather which is encouraging insects to stay in the open longer.

This is one of the Stilt Flies, so-called due to the long legs. The head is almost completely composed of two large eyes, which aids the hunt for other insect prey. Neria cibaria:

Since I recorded my first new species for Ireland in 2004, I've continued to add a couple of new species each year. Most of those are new records simply because nobody else had been looking closely enough, but some are genuine rarities. This leaf-mining fly - Agromyza ranunculivora - which mines Creeping Buttercup, seems to be a first record for Ireland, and the NBN gateway only shows a couple of records in England. Certainly the standard reference for leaf-miners didn't have an image. It does now.

This tiny (5mm) Capsid bug is quite common, but it's still the first time I've seen it. It's Capsus ater, and is associated with various grasses:

At first glance, this hoverfly might seem to be one of the very common Eristalis species, but a second glance shows the yellow hairs, a wing shade and extra small spots of yellow on the abdomen. That makes it Eristalis horticola which is widespread but never numerous. This is the third or fourth specimen that I've seen:

Many of the Sepsid flies have a single spot on the wing, and they run around the top of leaves waving their wings in some sort of semaphore signalling system. They're always on the go, so they're very difficult to photograph. Same size as an ant:

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