Friday, 28 April 2017

Pogonocherus hispidus

Another visit to Rowney Warren to try for additional ladybird species proved fruitless except for a longhorn beetle Pogonocherus hispidus beaten from a Rowan.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Common Blue damselflies

My first Odonata of the year weren't Large Red damselflies as usual but instead were Common Blue damselflies. Teneral, so they don't yet have their colouring. Males (top) and females (bottom) seen at the old station in Willington today.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Shieldbug #8 - Juniper

Found this Juniper Shieldbug Cyphostethus tristriatus on a fence post at Sharnbrook Summit today while doing fence repairs. (We were doing the repairs, not the shieldbug).


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Slender Groundhopper

Swept this Slender Groundhopper, Tetrix subulata at Fenlake Meadows. I was trying to get a photo with a more natural substrate than my hand when it went off "ping" into the undergrowth, and that was that!

Ladybird # 11 - 22-Spot

Found this 22-spot ladybird while unsuccessfully looking for water ladybird at Fenlake Meadows:

Shieldbug #7 - Woundwort

I've been checking my garden woundwort every day waiting for this shieldbug to appear which it finally did today. The Woundwort Shieldbug Eysarcoris venustissimus


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Ladybird #10 - Orange

Beaten from a conifer in Chicksands Wood, the Orange Ladybird:

Ladybird #9 - 14-spot

Beaten from brambles in Chicksands Wood, the variably-marked 14-spot ladybird

Weevil

Weevil beaten from, and restored to, a field maple

Early Purple Orchid

The Orchid season has begun. Here's an Early Purple Orchid from today...

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Shieldbug # 6 - Pied

These little Pied Shieldbugs Tritomegas bicolor weren't slowing down for anyone today and this is the best picture I could grab as they whizzed around white dead nettles on which they live, near Roxton.

Ladybird #8 - Cream Spot

This Cream Spot Ladybird was beaten from a hawthorn at the confluence of the Rivers Great Ouse and Ivel. Slightly over-exposed, and so was I in today's sunshine!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Shieldbug #5 - Green

Another active insect at Cooper's Hill, this one being the Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina

Ladybird #7 - 7-spot

Who'd have thought that the 7-spot would be my seventh spot! At Cooper's Hill - very mobile, hence a bit blurry.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Ladybird #6 - Larch

I have been holding off posting this photo until the ID was confirmed as I wasn't too confident. Helen Roy of the Ladybird Recording Scheme has confirmed it as the Larch Ladybird, another new species for me, and #6. Also at Rowney Warren, on 2nd April.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Green Tiger Beetle

Plenty of Green Tiger Beetles at Rowney Warren today, mostly flying away whenever I approached, but this one held its nerve for a close-up:

Common lizard

While looking for heather ladybirds (unsuccessfully) at Rowney Warren I stumbled across a couple of Common Lizards. Here's one that was quite bold and actually ran towards me

Melanotaenium ari / Melanustilospora ari

Possibly a new county first for a smut Melanotaenium ari / Melanustilospora ari (both names have been suggested as current) which causes galls on Lords and Ladies (Arum Lily). In Rowney Warren, on just a single plant.

The NBN Atlas (https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0020061928#records) shows records only for Shropshire, Surrey and Herefordshire in the British Mycological Society's dataset. How did it turn up in a Bedfordshire wood, and is it under-recorded here, or is this just a single plant...?


Shieldbug #4 - Hairy/Sloe

This Hairy/Sloe Shieldbug was found at Rowney Warren in a clump of heather while unsuccessfully looking for heather ladybirds.

Ladybird #5 - Eyed

Also found just one Eyed Ladybird while beating conifers at Rowney Warren today



And here's another from Cooper's Hill on 8th April. The darkness on its left elytron was a defect on the insect and not a shadow or dodgy photo.

Ladybird #4 - Cream-streaked

It took hours of beating conifers at Rowney Warren to find this ladybird, but worth the effort as it was a new species to me. The Cream-streaked Ladybird.



And here's another, more typical colouring, from Cooper's Hill on 8th April

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Shieldbug #3 - Hawthorn

On my apple tree this evening, the Hawthorn Shieldbug, Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Ladybird #3 - 10 Spot

I know it doesn't look like it has 10 spots, but apparently it has. Rowney Warren.

Shieldbug #2 - Birch

While beating conifers in Rowney Warren looking for ladybirds I discovered this Birch Shieldbug, Elasmostethus interstinctus.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Comma

A basking Comma near Ampthill showing the brush-footed nature of the Nymphalidae front legs very nicely...

Green Tiger Beetle

It wouldn't be spring without a picture of a Green Tiger Beetle, so here you are...


At Cooper's Hill today.

Shieldbug #1 - Gorse

May as well keep score of the shieldbugs that I find this year too, so here's number one, Gorse Shieldbug, on gorse at Cooper's Hill

Ladybird #2 - Harlequin

Noted several Harlequin Ladybirds on a trip to Cooper's Hill. (No sign of Heather Ladybird or Hieroglyph Ladybird - will have to keep trying for them).


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Ladybird #1 - Pine

As a background challenge for this year I think I'll try to see how many of the 23 species of ladybird recorded in the county I can find. So here's number one, a Pine Ladybird on my apple tree...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

First Hatching

Was this the first Bedfordshire "hatching" of 2017? Found shivering in my garden today. I let it sit on my hand in warm sunshine until it felt warm enough to fly off, which it did.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Woodland Orchids

Two Early-purple Orchid rosettes of a patch of 12 in a central Beds woodland:


A bee orchid spotted in the ride of the same wood:

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Orange Tip Challenge

See if you can achieve what I have failed to do - find an Orange Tip pupa in the wild! It may be on garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge) or else on some nearby stems. Whenever I have bred them through at home the caterpillars have always crawled off the garlic mustard onto sticks that I'd provided for the purpose but I'm aware of at least one attempt to pupate on garlic mustard in a garden in Beds in 2016, though that one was quickly predated by something.

Here is what you are looking for, with a shiny penny and a dirty thumbnail for size comparison. This was bred through last year and is patiently awaiting spring in my garden...