Sunday, 7 July 2013

Playing Dead

Had that primeval feeling you get when you spot something significant out of the corner of your eye, in this case a grass snake and only about four feet away, half hidden in the undergrowth. Took several photos, watching flies walk all over it, including on the eyes without any movement. I concluded it was dead so moved in closer for a better look, but it wasn't dead, just pretending, and slithered off quickly! Judging by its large size I'm guessing this to be a female.

Peacock Pupa 2

The Peacock pupa photographed three days ago is almost ready to hatch.

One of its friends has already hatched and flown away this morning - a perfect day for your first flight!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Glow Worms

Just returned from revisiting the Mowsbury Hill location where I saw glow worms last year. There were only two and both were receiving the attention of males, so they were no longer interested in putting on a glow-show, hence this rubbish picture, which was the best! Was able to photo males though, which are winged and look very different from the females. They have huge eyes, presumably to help spot the dim glow of the females. Females stop glowing after mating so I nearly left it too late to see them!


Insect photography wasn't going well at Old Warden Tunnel, so I switched to something a bit easier...

...but why is the sun always on the wrong side?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Peacock pupa

A peacock pupa about a week into its transformation...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

BIG day out in Chicksands Wood

Here's just of few of the species found by the Beds Invertebrate Group today in Chicksands Wood:

A female Cyclosa conica with the stabilimentum showing across her web, ID'd by Ian. (In shade under trees. I could have done with my tripod).

 A female Volucela inflata (the star hoverfly of the day according to John who identified it):

A goat willow leaf after a colony of sawfly larvae had largely finished with it. (There are still a few along the bottom edge):

 A Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata):

A longhorn beetle found by Peter, eventually keyed out by me as Stenocorus meridianus, initially thrown by its diminutive size into thinking it was something else.

A micro moth which will probably have to go to David for determination, tentatively assigned to the genus Syncopacma:

 Sawfly larvae, now identified as Craesus latipes (thanks to Ian for obtaining the ID) on a birch sapling:

A fly, identified as Calliopum simillimum [Lauxaniidae] by Alan:

 A picture wing fly, Urophora jaceana agg [Tephritidae], which would require dissection to ID to species (and then with difficulty). Thanks again to Alan for the ID.

Thanks to my BIG friends for their company, discoveries and expertise.