Tuesday, 31 August 2010

High pressure migrants

Yesterday I showed the first specimen of the hoverfly Eupeodes luniger for this year, and today I saw a lot more. The hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri is known to be migratory and I saw it on the marigolds today:

So I rather think the south-easterly wind that accompanied the current high-pressure weather system has brought in a mass migratory influx from mainland Europe.

I also saw my first 2010 specimen of the parasitic tachinid fly Eriothrix rufomaculata:

I only ever see this on Ragwort. Its host caterpillar is unknown in Ireland, and I'm beginning to wonder if it's migratory, too. I need to sit and think if a migratory parasite makes sense.

Woody Nightshade is a plant that seems threatening in all of its parts:

Maybe it's the purple stalks near the flowers and fruit, but I can certainly see why our ancestors viewed early tomatoes with more than a hint of suspicion.


Yoke, said...

I find the thought of Insects migrating just immense.

I've always had a huge respect for hoverflies, the way they can control their sudden change in direction/height, is their amazing adaptation to escape those many predators.

I spotted the Eupeodes luniger on Monday, on a Hawkbit in front of my house, as I came home. With the macro lens being inside, it had gone by the time I returned outside.

Gill said...

"Woody Nightshade is a plant that seems threatening in all of its parts" I disagree - I think it's lovely, and really rather exotic-looking (those are fine pics, I have tried seveal times to get those folded-back petals and never quite succeeded). But yes, as I suppose our ancestors knew it wasn't very good for you they would surely have been suspicious of tomatoes - you really can see the family resemblance in your shot.

I do like Scaeva pyrastri (and Eupeodes luniger for that matter).

Niamh McGinley said...

Stuart Solanum dulcamara is a medicinal plant, has a liver/skin action, a kind of metabolic cleanser. I'm very fond of it but it isn't for everyone, and the berries are kind of sinister... and the whole family, including the potato, tomato and aubergine are detrimental to some