|Ornate Shield Bug (Eurydema ornata) mating and munching on Purple Sprouting Broccoli.|
|Ornate Shield Bug (Eurydema ornata) on the broccoli head. |
They are very shiny and hard to photograph even when it's cloudy!
|A very shiny photo but which clearly shows the damage they are causing to the leaves.|
Not a problem on this particular plant as we don't eat the leaves, but you wouldn't want them on your cabbage.
|Graphosoma lineatum - the Striped Shield Bug. |
Normally seen on Dill and Fennel but here it's posing on Golden Oregano nearby.
|Another commonly seen red and black bug in spring is this Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata).|
I've shown this caterpillar before but this one was big and I found it munching on my Festuca Glauca, in a spot where it was difficult to get a photo. As soon as you go near these caterpillars though they curl up into a ball! It must be their defensive mechanism; I guess showing their bright colours side on like this makes them look more scary looking to predators?
|Drinker Moth caterpillar (Euthrix potatoria).|
And now some that are not colourful themselves, but they were on brightly coloured flowers.......
|A Honey Bee on a Dandelion.|
|I don't often see jumping spiders on leaves; they are much easier to spot on compost bins and|
the duck shed wall. Here's one on Golden Oregano. The pale pedipalps indicate that it is a sub-adult.
|Very common at the moment is the Heineken Hoverfly (Rhingia campestris). |
It has a little friend in the picture.
|Normally I'd have binned a photo like this but this is the only one where I have |
the Hairy-footed Flower Bee's (Anthophora plumipes) actual hairy foot on display!
Also I think it's quite funny, like it went splat on the flower!
Several times I saw this very handsome looking bee amongst my kale flowers and finally got some captures so I could look it up. I was happy to discover that it is Melecta albifrons, the Cuckoo Bee of the Hairy-footed Flower Bee. Cuckoo bees are so named because just like the cuckoo bird which lays its eggs in other birds' nests, so do these bees. They leave all the hard work of gathering pollen and making a burrow to lay their eggs in to Anthophora plumipes! Their larva will hatch out and eat the stored pollen intended for Anthophora plumipes, pupate and then emerge from the nest the following spring. Some Cuckoo Bees will also eat the larva of the host species but I haven't found any specific reference to this regarding Melecta albifrons. One would assume that even if they don't, the larva of the host would die due to having nothing to eat.
More info about Cuckoo Bee behaviour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckoo_bee
|Melecta albifrons, the Cuckoo Bee of the Hairy-footed Flower Bee.|
|A small fly having a wash on a Forget Me Not.|
|I found this beetle on a watering can and persuaded it onto my hand.|
It is Rhagium bifasciatum, the Two-banded Longhorn Beetle.
My most exciting find this last week was a lifer! A new butterfly to add to my list. This is a Dingy Skipper and I found it in a woodland clearing (not at home). It's got beautiful markings on its wings and there's nothing dingy about it!
|Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages).|
|OK not a bug but it's colourful! Another out of the kitchen window shots.|
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis).
And finally..... I found some eggs on my Bronze Fennel. I was really hoping they might be Swallowtail butterfly eggs..... and they are! So here goes with Swallowtail Raising Year 3 - this time right from the egg stage. Might I even see a butterfly actually eclose this time? If you haven't followed my blog for long then you will have missed all the action from previous years found on my 6 part (so far) series entitled "Raising Swallowtails".
|Egg of Old World Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon) on Bronze Fennel.|