Lady's Mantle tends to sneak up and surprise you. One day it's invisible, and the next the flowers are out. The large folded leaves are ideal for insects such as micromoths to make their larval 'spinnings' for their shelter.
The fronds of Male Fern have only just unfurled and the spore-bearing sori are already in place (although they will remain empty for quite some time, yet).)
|Sori of Male Fern|
The hedgerow has at least five species of Potentilla (and also the hybrid P. x mixta) in various places along its length. Silverweed is one of the easiest to identify, with its downy silver leaves:
The striking Marsh Cinquefoil is currently in bud, so I'll show pictures of that very soon, weather permitting.
The Orange Tip larva that I showed the other day is now about 4mm long. Note the damage to the seedpod, which the larva has caused by eating it. This is the only foodstuff that the larva will ever eat, moving from one pod to another as it finishes each one off.
|Orange Tip larva showing pod damage|
Bumblebee workers are busy in the gaps in the rain. They're still very small, so I suspect the rain has limited their pollen-gathering ability to quite an extent.
|Bumblebee worker landing on Raspberry flower|
Ichneumonids have started to appear in large numbers, which is no great surprise: their target moth and butterfly larvae are fattening up nicely, now.
|Ichneumonid on Cow Parsley|
|Ichneumonid (left) and the hoverfly Syritta pipiens|
The second shot also includes a rear view of a male Syritta pipiens hoverfly.
The next shot took me a couple of hours to tie down to species. It's a Lesser Dungfly which keys out to Cordilura rufimana. The Cordilura family is quite large, with some 22 species on the BI list. Most are dung-feeders as larvae, but C. rufimana appears to feed on the rootstock of various plants.
|The Lesser Dungfly Cordilura rufimana|
Surprisingly similar, but totally unrelated, is the Stilt Fly Neria cibaria. These have a strange habit of lowering their mouth to the upper surface of leaves and then rocking backwards and forwards on those long legs, shaving the upper surface of the leaf, presumably for food.
|Neria cibaria - a Stilt Fly|
A couple of sawflies next:
The first is on Broad Buckler fern:
|Sawfly on Broad Buckler fern|
And this is one of the Tenthredo sp.:
|Tenthredo sp. Sawfly|
The Hoverfly Cheilosia albitarsis is an associate of Creeping Buttercup. The extremely similar (and only very recently segregated) Cheilosia ranunculi is thought to associate with Bulbous Buttercup.
|The hoverfly Cheilosia albitarsis|
Two shots of very small (6mm) soldier beetles from the Rhagonycha family:
First, Rhagonycha limbata:
Rhagonycha lignosa is a new species for my list.
A couple of weeks ago, I showed one of the pollen-stealing cuckoo bees. This one looks to be another member of the same family: Nomada flava.
|The kleptoparasitic cuckoo bee Nomada flava|
Rhagonycha section of this page has been updated to correct the identification of Rhagonycha lignosa.