Thursday, 12 May 2016

Glorious May

After two pretty grim days of unrelenting rain, it was exciting to wake up to blue skies and sunshine today, especially with a well stocked moth trap to look through. There were a total of 17 species nestling in the egg-boxes including my first spring red-green carpets, and more usual spring goodies like Waved Umber and Pebble Prominent.

On to work, and after a few hours at my desk I was released into the sunshine and immediately came across my first snakefly of the year. These are bizarre looking insects related to lacewings, but with long snake-like necks and a wasp like ovipositor. There are four UK species, I'll do some research and see if I can figure out which one this is.

Snakefly - I think the funny wings are because it has recently emerged
Today was one of those May days where everything seemed so full of life it was bursting out. Everywhere you look there are green shoots shooting towards the sky, flowers flowering and insects, um, insecting. I couldn't resist another shot of the little red and black bug Corizus hyoscyami perching on some cleavers, whilst nearby a Hairy Shieldbug basked as two hoverflies and a bee foraged for nectar.
Corizus hyoscyami
Corizus hyoscyami, too pretty not to photograph
The sunshine had clearly gone to some insects' heads, as I picked up a new species in the shape of an Alder Moth, that for some reason had decided to top up its tan by basking on top of the log pile. Nearby I was delighted to spot the distinctively marked weevil Platystomos albinus, the weevil recording scheme's weevil of the month in conjunction with the equally distinctive Platyrhinus resinosus. While I was photographing that and small black bug with an orange spot scuttled past, Aphanus rolandri! I'd been wanting to see this for ages, today was clearly a good day!

Alder Moth
Alder Moth
Platystomos albinus
Platystomos albinus
Aphanus rolandri
Aphanus rolandri
It soon got better as I wandered across the heath, idly sweeping my net across the heather, and picking up another two lifers almost by accident. First was the tiny leafhopper Ulopa reticulata, a heather specialist, and then the lacehopper Tachycixius pilosus came out of the mesh. I also finally saw my first Green Tiger Beetle of the year, about a month after evetyone else.

There was still time for a final tick in the gardens as I wandered over to a corded off area where the lovely Meadow Saxifrage grows, somehow I'd never got round to going and looking at it before despite it being all of 100m from my office!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing!