Sunday, 29 July 2007
Saturday, 28 July 2007
An Ammophila sabulosa preparing to drag her catch into the nest. Once the nest is fully provisioned she will lay an egg and seal the hole.
A Philanthus triangulum, known as the Bee Wolf, carrying a honey bee worker to her nest. The burrow leads to several cells which are provisioned with bees.
Cerceris rybyensis. Her nest will be provisioned with beetles, mostly weevils, or other solitary wasps.
A ruby-tailed wasp, Hedychrum niemelai. (This species has RDB status). Ruby-tailed wasps, also known as cuckoo wasps are cleptoparisites or parasitoids on other solitary wasps, in this case various species of Cerceris, such as C.rybyensis above. They will enter their burrows and lay an egg in each available cell.
Dasypoda hirtipes the hairy-legged mining bee. There is a large aggregation of these delightful bees in the SW corner of the reserve. Watch them "row" backwards pushing excavated material onto the spoil heap before running back down the mine for more!
All pictures by Keith Balmer.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Thursday, 19 July 2007
Monday, 16 July 2007
A slightly odd male Gatekeeper with paler than usual hindwings.
A Common lizard basking on a log-pile. With a slow stealthy approach it is possible to get quite close.
I had always suspected that a crab spider could catch a medium-sized butterfly but never seen it before. Here a meadow brown has become a tasty meal for this spider that waited on the flower for a victim.
All four pictures by Keith Balmer.
Sunday, 15 July 2007
On 15th July at Broom GP I found millions of tiny Mayfly exuviae on the plastic protectors surrounding the seedling trees. The trees were a metre or more from the waters edge and one side of the plastic was completely covered by them. There were also Common Blue damselfly exuviae on the protectors up to five metres from the water. The sheer numbers indicate that these pools are alive with invertebrates. Photos by Steve Cham
Saturday, 14 July 2007
Then a quick dash to Sharpenhoe Clappers where there was a little more sun and the second target big Fritillary performed, despite being rather mobile in windy conditions. One Dark Green settled to feed on Greater Knapweed long enough for a series of shots - one distant but nicely spread, then a series in close-up.
I love the spotty eyes.
...and finally the diagnostic dark green underwing pattern
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Monday, 9 July 2007
Unless anyone knows of any recent records, this is Theridion familiare and is a new species of spider for Bedfordshire. The most recent distribution map can be found here (the closest three dots to Beds are all Ian Dawsons records from Cambs; Waresley, Little Paxton and Coton):
Many thanks (again) to Ian Dawson for the identification of the spiders found in my Broom home. Looks like this time I found a good one!