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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Buggy photos 2

Some more of the insect photos I've taken recently.

The first two are the Speckled Wood butterfly, which as its name suggests is to be found flitting about and sunning itself in sunny clearings in my little woodland. I'm not seeing that many other butterflies at the moment which is a bit sad.

Speckled Wood showing underside of wing

Speckled Wood with wings open, sunning itself amongst the brambles and bracken

Ladybird on a broad bean plant

Absolutely no idea, but this little guy was tiny, about 2mm long
and sheer fluke that I managed to focus on it at all! On the edge of
a Zantedeschia (Arum Lily) flower.
The above insect is Anthrenus verbasci, the Varied Carpet Beetle, which isn't good news if it comes inside the house as their larvae eat your furnishings! With huge thanks to Thijs de Graaf for the identifications of this and the others that I have mentioned in italics.

This is a Bee Fly, possibly Bombylius major, which was identified for me on G+.
I'd never even heard of bee flies before! It has long legs and a very long proboscis which you
can't see here as it's up inside a catmint flower.

A fly of some sort posing nicely on a bracken frond

Another unknown fly on Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides)

Flies are an even more complicated family than bees, as there are many which resemble
other insects such as wasps and bees. This isn't a bee although it looks like one.
But is it a hoverfly? It's all very confusing!
Yes it's a hoverfly, Merodon equestris, or Narcissus Bulb Fly. However unlike many other hoverflies whose larvae eat aphids, this one's larvae eat your daffodil bulbs!

Now this is a Hoverfly!
Yay I got one right! This is Scaeva pyrastri and its larvae eat aphids.

This I cannot tell as I can't see the antennae. But bee or fly, it is very pretty and
was taken on a rose in the rose garden at the Parc du Thabor, Rennes.

I also have some public photos on a Picasaweb album of ladybirds, ladybird eggs, ants and aphids in my broad bean patch. You can view the photos here.

I took them about 5 days ago and the good news is that after checking yesterday there are hardly any aphids left - just a few left on the underside of some of the top leaves. I could only see one ladybird and far fewer ants. If you read my veg patch update from a few posts back I mentioned that I had put down strawberry jam on some saucers in amongst the plants in an effort to entice the ants away from the aphids, so that the ladybirds and other predators could move in for the kill. I also observed a lacewing on the plants a few days ago - another aphid muncher. I can't be sure that the jam did the trick or not as although there was some ant interest in the jam it may be that the ladybirds just managed to get in anyway. Who knows but it's a good way to use up old strawberry jam as I have a whole new 2012 batch in progress right now...... :-)

And now as I type this up it's absolutely tipping down outside which is great for the garden but less so for the peonies and roses which are looking stunning at the moment. However so long as it keeps my stream running into the pond I will not complain! If you ever saw the pics of how low the pond can get once the stream stops flowing you'll understand why this is very important to me! Pics of it from December here - you may need to click on them as I didn't post them large size - it was right when I first started using Blogger and didn't really know what I was doing.


  1. Amazing photos Mandy, I especially love the ladybird pics. We wouldn't be nearly so quick to squish bugs if we had telephoto eyeballs would we!

  2. I love these photos. I love your blog! :) thanks! Irene.

  3. Thanks very much Ladybug and Irene. LB I am not so sure I'd want to view the world with telephoto eyeballs, good grief it could be terrifying! Imagine a giant cockroach... oooh no it doesn't bear thinking about!

  4. Hi Milly,
    Nice Photos!
    The tiny beetle is an Anthrenus. Maybe Anthrenus verbasci or Anthrenus museorum. There are similar species.
    But is it an hoverfly: Yes it is. It’s a Narcissus fly, Greater bulb fly (Merodon equestris). These species are very different in colour.
    Now this is a hoverfly: A Scaeva pyrastri.
    Regards, Thijs

    1. Hi Thijs - thanks so much for the identification! I have realised who you are because I had already discovered your really useful website and had put a link to it on my reference links section of this blog! I thought when I have more time in winter I will spend some time looking through my photos trying to ID some of the insects, but right now I have too much to do in the garden. But that's really interesting about the tiny carpet beetle. I will try not to let it inside my house!