Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring

Spring is very late this year. I currently have Lesser Celandine, Barren Strawberry and Wood Sorrel in flower, but little else apart from Daisy and Dandelion, which are in flower here all year round. Willow catkins have just opened and I have seen a few queen bumblebees foraging for pollen to start their nests. First hoverfly was a female Eristalis tenax, as is usual every year.

February and March were very cold, with waves of snow and rain for around 6 weeks non-stop, and the wind is still very cold, so very few insects are around outside.

Inside, however, we have plenty of spiders. This is a female Amaurobius sp., probably A similis due to location, but there's a slight possibility of A. fenestralis:

Female Amaurobius c.f. similis

Those jaws are fearsome. Amaurobius species are called Lace-web spiders, since they make a lattice web with a central tunnel where the spider lurks. Females are larger than the males, reaching some 16mm. in body length, and can readily be identified by the narrow ends to the palps and their larger abdomen.

New to my species list.

Another new species was a bit of a surprise. The micromoth Diurnea fagella is very common, but it's around the 250th moth species that I have recorded. The larvae feed on a wide range of broadleaf trees, so I should have seen it long before this.

Pretty beast, anyway, and about 15 mm. long.

The micromoth Diurnea fagella
The specimen in the photograph is a male, since it has fully-developed wings. The female has smaller, stunted wings, which makes me think it's heading towards the flightless females of many other winter/spring species.

New to my species list.


1 comment:

Trollstubben foto said...

So beautiful they are.
Karin