Monday, 4 May 2015

A day at the Botanics


May Bank Holiday is always fun for our family at NBGW, and now that Bea and Johnny are a bit older we were able to look at insects as well as the excellent juggler/magician, musicians etc.  We started with Bea spotting Orange-tip eggs, and then my first 2015 Micropterix calthella and Adela rufimitrella.  
 

Tell-tale pale patches on a Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) leaf revealed a larval case of Coleophora paripennella, which has only 9 previous Carms records, 8 of them from Pembrey.  I hope others will look out for this species, but beware that a couple of other Coleophora also feed on Knapweed so please photograph the case.


Hoverflies provided the rarest species of the day: the fantastic red-banded Brachypalpoides lentus, a scarce deadwood species that I have only seen once before (in Oxfordshire 15 years ago) and which has only a handful of previous Carms records.  A Dasysyrphus venustus was also a nice surprise, but a male Sphaerophoria with an ambiguous lateral band was best left unidentified without dissection.  I think/hope the beetle Malachius bipustulatus is distinctive, but I'm not 100% sure.


 
Finally, this large-headed bee looked interesting and distinctive, but I'm totally clueless on Hymenoptera.  Perhaps someone can ID it, at least to family.
 



2 comments:

  1. Ooh nice, I've never seen Brachypalpoides. I finally caught up with Rhingia rostrata in Cornwall over the BH weekend, as well as the Dasysyrphus you mention.

    I'm clueless on hymenoptera too!

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  2. Interesting as always, Sam with valued `moth-tips`. I suggest that your bee is a Chelostoma sp. The ones I collected in the past proved to be C. florisomne (det by an aculeate specialist). Brachypalpoides is indeed a` thin on the ground` hoverfly - I had it a very few times (as did others) at places such as Dinefwr Deer Park (where it was noted on elder blossom), Garnant (nr Ammanford) and S of New Mill in the SW of the county, so it is widespread, if very scarce.

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