The second part of this month's selection of photos comprises entirely of insects...
The male bumblebee shown above was very sluggish due to the cold weather, and it was very easy to get this extreme close-up of its head.
The insect below is not what it at first appears to be...
Despite its remarkable resemblance to a bumblebee, Volucella bombylans is in fact a hoverfly. Note the big eyes and plumose antennae. This superb bumblebee-mimic lays its eggs in wasp nests (and sometimes Bumblebee burrows) where its larvae feed off the detritus and food stores generated by their hosts.
Syrphus vitripennis (below) is a more conventional-looking hoverfly...
The Micropteryx moths are among the smallest moths in Britain. There are several very similar species and this one, M. calthella, was only about 4mm in length. It is quite common to find 5 or 6 of them in a single buttercup flower.
cast-off skin of Peacock caterpillar (Inachis io)
Many members of the horse-fly family (Tabanidae) have beautifully patterned eyes. Unfortunately, these large flies are also haematophagous (feed on blood) and give quite painful bites.
After an abyssmal summer in 2007, butterflies seem to be a bit thin on the ground this year. This individual is the only skipper I have seen so far this year...
Ray Wilson owns the copyright of all images on this site.
They may not be used or copied in any form without prior written permission.