Thursday, 20 May 2021

The sun has got his hat on..

 18 May 2021 

Tuesday turned out to be a very sunny day, as I am writing this it is now raining , cold and windy !

Taking a trip to the park there was a definite buzz in the air, Butterflies were out, Hoverflies as well as many other insects. The wildflowers had sprung up especially Buttercups. The grass was green and everything just looked wonderful.

Coming up is just a few of photos I took on the day, I went out twice the second time taking my insect net to sweep the grass. 

Hoverflies (Xylota)

Xylota is a Holarctic genus of hoverflies similar in structure to the related genera Chalcosyrphus and Brachypalpoides. As the larvae are saprophytic in rotting wood the adult flies are generally found associated with woodland and woodland edges and can often be seen running over the upper sides of leaves.(LINK)

It was nice to spot a 14 Spot ladybird (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata), what a name! but ran of before I could get a better photo.

Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis)

Timothy Tortrix  caterpillar (Aphelia paleana) moth

Cucumber Green Orb Spider (Araniella cucurbitina sensu stricto)

In flight April-October. Hovers in and around damp vegetation but not easily seen due to size and slim build. Larvae feed on aphids. Another new Hovefly for my list.

Beech tree blossom

Common Sycamore Aphid   (Drepanosiphum)

I have been struggling to get a good photo of "Greenfly" when researching the aphid I was surprised to find there are many species not just green and black! in fact there are over 300 British species !!! most  will just feed on their own host plant which helps with ID . 

Hawthorn flower

Gall  (Aceria cephalonea) on Sycamore leaf

Another insect that has had me fascinated is the weevil , just about every plant has it's own weevil and there are 60,000 species of weevils have been described worldwide, and yet many species are still unknown to science. Some are very tiny.

Blunt nosed weevil

Nettle Weevil - Phyllobius pomaceus 

Tiny fly with big eyes

Spider (Microlinyphia pusilla)

One of the best finds of the day was this Dirt-colored seed bug , a new species for me. I found it on a pine tree. 

The animal is often found in rather damp places, usually among leaflitter or mosses. They feed however by sucking on the seeds of trees or shrubs, such as birches and alder. It is single-brooded but breeding continues in all suitable seasons, so eggs, larvae and adults can be seen all year round. Adults are even active on mild winter days. 

Dirt-coloured seed bug (Drymus brunneus)

Grass meadow
From the 19th May 
Hoverfly (Eupeodes luniger)

Dance fly, (family Empididae), any member of a family of insects in the fly order, Diptera, that are named for their erratic movements while in flight. Dance flies are small with a disproportionately large thorax and a long tapering abdomen. In males, the abdomen usually bears conspicuous genitalia at the posterior end.

Dance fly (Empis sp)

Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io)

Green-veined white butterfly (Pieris napi)
Large Bitter-Cress (Cardamine amara)

Whishing you all your own sunny day.


  1. Oh, it looks like it was a lovely day! Amazing insect and plant photos! I scrolled back through to get a second view of all of them.

    1. Thanks Beth, what a lovely comment glad you liked the photos.

  2. Great post Amanda and amazing images. You have certainly upped the insect game! More please...

    1. Thanks so much Stewart, yes more insects to come. Just need a good few weeks of sunshine rather than the odd day.

  3. Wonderful macro shots Amanda and a great selection of species :) I particularly love the shots of the weevil. Your park suddenly produces some great species.

    1. Thanks so much Caroline,I got the weevils from sweeping the grass, I also have a white cat litter tray to catch insect from shaking grass or trees, spiders and bugs find it hard to climb the slippery sides so I can get a photo. Never thought to do this till I got this camera.

  4. You are getting some lovely shots with that new camera! I love the Nettle Weevil, not seen one before (that I know of) and it's a really great image as well. I had no idea about aphids either, I've seen plenty of brown ones but just think of them as their colour, like you said! I'm amazed at all the IDing you have done, or are you getting help from iNaturalist or one of those sites? I have just started using and it's amazing. Saves hours poring over books and google! xx

    1. Thanks Mandy, I'm on a mission to find and photograph some more species of aphids this week, Nature Spot is my go to website but I am in some wonderful groups on Facebook who help with identifying the things I see , most of the time we are seing the same things so keeping an eye on both Twitter and Facebook helps.

  5. Trying to find a moment of sun is hard work at the moment!! I am really enjoying these photos, they are so good!

    1. Thanks Pam, having to make the most of every day, but would love it to be just a bit warmer!