Sunday, 17 May 2015

Spring invertebrates

This post is focussed on some of the smaller inhabitants of the island. Spring is a great time of year to see the emergence of a range of insects and reptiles. This year. however, has been a little poor due to the unsettled weather conditions. There are still plenty of things to look at though! 

This handsome beast is a Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris), and is present around the coast of Bardsey on calm, sunny afternoon. In terms of a UK status, this species is the commonest tiger beetle. They are excellent predators, with running fast at times on their long legs, and making short buzzing flights when disturbed. The larvae develop in small burrows in the earth, which also act as pitfall traps, thus catching unwary prey which happen to fall in

This (not so handsome) insect is a Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria). It is perhaps one of the most abundant flies in many parts of the UK (and Northern Hemisphere for that matter). The adults hang around fresh faeces, where they breed and lay their eggs within the organic matter on the dung. The adult flies feed on small insects 

Green-veined White. This species is by far the commonest butterfly on Bardsey, and they are beginning to emerge in small numbers on warm days

This year has generally been very poor for moths, largely due to the unsettled and mostly quite chilly conditions. Moth-trapping has been met with mixed success: often yields have been just one or two, with Hebrew Characters and Flame Shoulders featuring most commonly at the moment. I have trapped a couple of new species for Bardsey in recent weeks, namely a Shoulder Stripe (geometrid) and a Water Carpet (common species in the UK). Marbled Coronets, Common Quakers, Early Thorns and Double-striped Pugs are among the commonest species at the moment

Marbled Coronet

Early Thorn

Early Grey

Shoulder Stripe

1 comment:

  1. I've never done any macro photography, it certainly makes me ask why? Great set of images Ben!