Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Chinese Water Deer - MVCP

Chinese Water Deer in the "long Meadow", between the MVCP access track and the Pillinge, photo by Martin Green.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Deer at Tempsford

Two of the three Deer at Tempsford Airfield today, which I think are Fallow Deer?

Monday, 24 November 2008

Bat at Leagrave

These two images were taken by Neil Wright at Leagrave Marsh, 24th November 2008. Which species is it?

Saturday, 18 October 2008

MVCP Wetland 1 - 18th October 2008

Looking out over the reeds of MVCP Wetland 1 from one of the bund lookout points. Photo by Martin Green.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Autumn moths in Lower Stondon

Three new species for the year came to our garden moth trap on the night of 14th to 15th October. Photos by Andy Banthorpe.

Red-line Quaker, Agrochola lota

Green-brindled Crescent, Allophyes oxycanthae

Dark Chestnut, Conistra ligula

Friday, 10 October 2008

Merveille du Jour (Dichonia aprilina) at the Lodge 10/10/08

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Pale-lemon Sallow

This moth is the 6th Vice-county record of Pale-lemon Sallow, Xanthia ocellaris. It was caught in Eaton Ford (which is in Hunts administrative but VC30, Bedfordshire, for recording purposes) on 6th October by Tony Lawrence. Photo by Andy Banthorpe

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Uncommon moths at The Lodge

These two turned up on the walls at The Lodge, RSPB Sandy, on 26th September. The Convolvulus Hawk-moth is the 39th record for the county and the first to be found at this site.

The Large Thorn is a species that is nationally scarce and seems to be declining. It has been found at this site on a few occasions but not since 2005.

Convolvulus Hawk-moth by Andy Banthorpe

Large Thorn by Andy Banthorpe

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Great Barford - 21st September

A Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) was ovipositing in a dead plant stem near the edge of the Great Ouse. She was repeatedly disturbed by passing boats but always returned after a few minutes, allowing me a chance to move the stem a bit nearer shore during each disturbance, and thus take this picture without getting wet!

Picture by Keith Balmer

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Southern Hawker MVCP

This fairly obliging Southern Hawker was in the Sensory Garden near the Visitors Centre. Photos by Martin Green.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Silver-Y Moth and Ruddy Darter MVCP

A day-flying moth (Silver-Y Moth) feeding in the Sensory Garden near the Visitors Centre.
This male Ruddy Darter was one of the many Darters near the MVCP Visitors Centre. Photos by Martin Green.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Oak Hugging

I know Cooper's Hill is loved for its heathland habitat, but the Oaks are always worth a good peer at. All the following were observed today (14/09/08) on the sunny side of a single Oak...

Nut Weevils (Curculio sp.?) were queuing up to drill in this acorn, presumably to oviposit:

A hoverfly (possibly Didea fasciata) was ovipositing near aphids, presumably food for its young, running the gauntlet of the ants defending them. (Sorry it's not a great picture - the wind was moving things around alot).

An impressive-looking member of the Parasitica here resting briefly for a clean:

A larva (sawfly perhaps?) making a very distinctive-looking shelter by sewing an oak leaf in half along its mid vein:

And plenty of galls, tentatively identified as caused by the following Hymenoptera:

Neurotenus quercusbaccarum (Common spangle gall):

Andricus grossulariae:

Andricus quercuscalicis (Knopper gall):

Neuroterus albipes (Smooth spangle gall):

This one has me stumped. It doesn't seem quite right for Andricus lignicola (Cola-nut gall). Any suggestions please?

Photos by Keith Balmer

Sturmia bella

This Sturmia bella (ID confirmed on Diptera.info - thanks to Chris Raper) emerged on 13/09/08 from one of the parasitoid pupae that formed from the Small Tortoiseshell pupae. (See August 30th below). In the end 54 parasitoids emerged from 29 of the 30 Small Tortoiseshell. Only one butterfly emerged from the 30 caterpillars collected. 52 of the parasitoid pupae were sent to Oxford University for their research ten days ago. This fly emerged from one of the two pupae retained.

Photo by Keith Balmer

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Small Tortoiseshell parasitoids - 30th August

There are suspicions that Sturmia bella a parasitoid fly of Nymphalidae butterflies, relatively new to Britain, may be responsible for the recent decline in Small Tortoiseshells. I collected 30 Small Tortoiseshell larvae from my garden last weekend and all but one successfully pupated. Last night however there was a mass emergence of parasitoid grubs (38 at the last count) from about 15 of the butterfly chrysalids, which quickly pupated. Here is one of the grubs that emerged this morning, which had me quickly scrabbling for my camera, and a couple of other pictures. They will all be sent off for expert identification to see if they are S.bella. The remaining 14 Small Tortoiseshell pupae look okay, but time will tell...

Pictures by Keith Balmer

MVCP - 30th August 2008

One of many Small Red-eyed Damselfies that were patrolling the emergent vegetation on the long pit the runs parallel to the MVCP access track. Photo by Martin Green.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Giant House Spider

Giant House Spider Tegenaria duellica, Broom, 29th August 2008 by Steve Blain. More pics can be found here.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Rhododendron Leafhopper

Rhododendron Leafhopper Graphocephala fennahi, The Lodge, 28th August 2008 by Steve Blain. Another shot can be found here.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Felmersham Gravel Pits SSSI - 25th August

A female Southern Hawker allowed me to get really close this afternoon...

A female Ruddy Darter (I think - all black legs) perched photogenically on a Pea...

A female Green-veined White spurned the advances of a male...

While a Brimstone stocked up for the winter...

Pictures by Keith Balmer

Flounced Rustic MVCP 25th August 2008

A Flounced Rustic, which was on a window at my parent's house near Stewartby Lake. Photo taken by Martin Green, moth identified by Melissa Banthorpe.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Volucella inanis

Hoverfly Volucella inanis (Thanks to Roger Morris for the corrcct id), Brogborough Lake, 23rd August 2008 by Steve Blain.

MVCP 23rd August 2008

Male Ruddy Darter, male Migrant Hawker, female Common Darter and a male Common Blue, photos by Martin Green.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Marston Vale CP moths 8th August 2008

The following all came to MV light by the reedbed at Marston Vale CP on 8th August.

Southern Wainscot by M G Banthorpe

Twin-spotted Wainscot by M G Banthorpe

Webb's Wainscot by M G Banthorpe

Chilo phragmitella by A M Banthorpe

Eucosma campoliliana by A M Banthorpe