June 2008

Part 2: Insects

The second part of this month's selection of photos comprises entirely of insects...

male Bombus hortorum - Cheshire, England

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...

Volucella bombylans - Cheshire, England

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...

female Syrphus vitripennis - Cheshire, England

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.

Micropterix calthella
Anglesey, Wales

cast-off skin of Peacock caterpillar (Inachis io)
Cheshire, England

Notch-horned Cleg (Haematopota pluvialis) - Cheshire, England

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.

Notch-horned Cleg (Haematopota pluvialis) - Cheshire, England

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...

Large Skipper (Ochlodes venatus) - Cheshire, England

Mesembrina meridiana - Cheshire, England

Myrmica rubra - Gwynedd, Wales

Black-clouded Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae: Leiopus nebulosus) - Gwynedd, Wales

Unidentified Beetle (Coleoptera) - Anglesey, Wales

Thick-legged Flower Beetle Oedemera nobilis - Gwynedd, Wales

Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola) - Gwynedd, Wales

Unidentified weevil (probably a Phyllobius sp.) - Gwynedd, Wales

June 2008 (pt.1) 2008 Diary Index July 2008 (pt.1)