Thursday, 31 May 2018

A bit of this and that

With warmer weather through May things are really getting going with the plants and the things that live on them. Here are some pics from along the coastal path from the last couple of days...

Bibio leucopterus - part of a "swarm" - all males

a broader view

Timothy Tortrix caterpillar (a micro moth)

Tenthredo livida - a sawfly

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Coastal Path Caterpillars

A couple of caterpillars from hawthorn beside the coastal path at the weekend. The GBC (2nd below) is not due as an adult until early autumn so it was nice to see it as a caterpillar - aand a pretty attractive one at that.

Acrobasis advenella

Green-brindled Crescent

Friday, 25 May 2018

Hydrotaea diabolus - a new fly for Fife

Hydrotaea diabolus,
Dalgety Bay, Ross Plantation

After finding a female a couple of days ago which was waiting to be identified, I ran into a male yesterday and what a fantastic fly it is! The overall impression is a glistening blue-black with a brightly flashing silver face when the light strikes it at the right angle. It has bizarrely long legs, especially the central ones, and the fore and hind legs bear weird and wonderful appendages. The central femur has a spectacular upturned hair on its apex.

Prior to this there have only been two records in Scotland (per NBN gateway)

The female - note pale haltere

A male

Peg leg - cilia on tibia also noteworthy

The shovel like front femur

Central femur "spur"

Shiny face

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Small Copper

Swept from grass in the bay, a surprise find. It didn't wake up enough to open its wings so I just put it back to bed

Monday, 21 May 2018

Click Beetle - Athous haemorrhoidalis

A click beetle, whose abdomen is bright red, but you don't see it until they fly. Hence the not immediately obvious name!

Over 800 species in NT1683

A good haul of additional species were recorded over the weekend, taking the total to over 800 for this year.

Tipula oleracea emerged in abundance

Trichosirocalus troglodytes on Ribwort Plantain

Cute little guy (girl?)

Garden first Pebble Prominent

Adela reamurella, apparently new to me, which is a surprise
771 diptera Phaonia populi A muscid fly
772 diptera Tephritis hyoscyami Tephritidae
773 fungus Calocybe gambosa St.George's Mushroom
774 * spider Tetrix denticulata A spider
775 coleoptera Trichosirocalus troglodytes A weevil
776 diptera Cynomya mortuorum A blow fly
777 diptera Tipula oleracea Tipuloidea
778 diptera Xylota segnis Syrphidae
779 flowering plant Festuca ovina Sheep's Fescue
780 flowering plant Lotus corniculatus Common Bird's-foot-trefoil
781 flowering plant Ornithogalum angustifolium Star-of-Bethlehem
782 flowering plant Rosa rugosa Japanese Rose
783 flowering plant Salix caprea Goat Willow
784 flowering plant Atriplex prostrata Spear-leaved Orache
785 lep-moth Aphomia sociella Bee Moth
786 lep-moth Epermenia chaerophyllella A micro moth
787 lep-moth Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth
788 lep-moth Hadena bicruris Lychnis
789 lep-moth Lomographa temerata Clouded Silver
790 lep-moth Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent
791 lep-moth Perizoma affinitata Rivulet
792 * diptera Limnophila olympiae A muscid fly
793 diptera Phaonia palpata A muscid fly
794 * flowering plant Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail
795 flowering plant Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass
796 flowering plant Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling
797 flowering plant Luzula major Great Wood-rush
798 flowering plant Meconopsis cambrica Welsh Poppy
799 * lep-moth Adela reamurella A micro moth
800 flowering plant Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb
801 flowering plant Tanacetum vulgare Tansy

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Rhingia campestris - a hoverfly

Always one of the most entertaining looking hoverflies the tongue of Rhingia is so long it has to be folded up somewhere. At nearby Cullaloe LNR this species has been recorded feeding on the flowers of almost every flowering plant there.

Hydrophoria lancifer - another anthomiyiid )flower fly)

Very common in Ross Plantation on low foliage beside the path. Very striking shiny face (fronto-orbital plates), big eyes (male) and pale stripes on its sides

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ross Plantation Flower Flies

An explosion of Anthomyia procellaris males in the woods this lunchtime, with up to 10 on one nettle plant.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Orange Ladybird, Ross Plantation

In the winter you can find clusters of these hibernating, but this one was out and about enjoying the sunshine

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dangerous flies

A fine day yesterday with some nice new things.

A new Big-headed Fly (Pipunculidae) was added to the county list - Jassidophaga fasciata.

These are fantastic-looking little flies, which target hemipteroids (true bugs) as hosts. The tachinid (?) with it in the photo below hasn't been ID'd.

Another new for county was the weevil Hadroplontus litura, which according to NBN is the northernmost British record.

Ferdinandea cuprea was a nice new hover fly for me in the morning sunshine today.

Dangerous small things!

ovipositor - ouch! (for piercing bugs)

Hadroplontus litura

Ferdinandea cuprea

702 lep-moth Aphelia paleana Timothy Tortrix
703 flowering plant Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle
704 coleoptera Otiorhynchus singularis A Broad-nosed Weevil
705 lep-moth Epinotia immundana Common Birch Bell
706 diptera Tipula varipennis A crane fly
707 * diptera Jassidophaga fasciata A big-headed fly
708 * coleoptera Hadroplontus litura A weevil
709 diptera Syrphus vitripennis  Syrphidae
710 * diptera Ferdinandea cuprea A hover fly
711 diptera Melanostoma scalare Syrphidae

Friday, 4 May 2018

Garden moths 3/5/18

Hebrew Character (1)
Spectacle (1)
Early Grey (1)
Pine Beauty (1) -NFG
Common Quaker (5)
Small Quaker (2)
Double-striped Pug (2)

DS Pug



Pine Beauty - new for garden

Early Grey

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

End of April roundup

A nice sunny finish to the end of April saw lots of hoverflies out and about! I finally got onto Platycheirus ambiguus, a hoverfly I found new to Fife last year at blackthorn on Hopeward Point.

I first mistook this species last year for Platycheirus albimanus, but its front legs look like a female Platycheirus - not much additional ornamentation. However, it is holoptic (eyes meet in the middle - usually a male character), so I went back to look at the legs. It has a funky little coiled spring hair as you can see from this photo. I could have tidied this up a bit but it is what it is:

Here's a roundup of the species recorded so far in 2018. Next target - 800 by end of May!

Class roundup
Jan Feb Mar Apr
Algae 6 15 26 28
Lichens 27 31 35 38
Fungi 60 83 86 92
Plants - Vascular 65 77 85 114
Plants - Bryo 46 52 55 61
Mollusc 12 17 27 28
Arachnida 7 12 17 20
Collembola 5 8 10 10
Hemiptera 4 5 7 9
Hymenoptera 3 4 4 14
Coleoptera 8 13 16 23
Diptera 15 24 38 61
Lepidoptera 4 8 14 32
Invert - Other 22 41 54 57
Vert - Birds 54 62 75 82
Vert - Other 3 5 5 7
Total 341 457 554 676
Additions 116 97 122

Additional species
672 diptera Eupeodes luniger A hoverfly
673 * hymenoptera Vespula germanica German Wasp
674 diptera Platycheirus ambiguus Syrphidae
675 * hemiptera Orthops basalis A bug
676 * fungus Coprinopsis macrocephala A mushroom