Saturday, 30 May 2009

Moth Trapping MVCP

Some images from the brilliant MVCP moth trapping night run by Andy & Melissa Banthorpe. Many thanks to both of them and to Steve from the country park for a very enjoyable night, I still can't believe how many Hawkmoths we saw :-)

c.15 Elephant Hawkmoths
3 Lime Hawkmoths
2 Eyed Hawkmoths
1 Privet Hawkmoth
1 Poplar Hawkmoth Close-up of a gorgeous Elephant Hawkmoth. (Uncropped)
An Elephant's eye - crop from the above photo. Three more Elephant Hawkmoth photos.
Eyed HawkmothPrivet HawkmothPoplar Hawkmoth

Two Lime Hawkmoth photos

Photos by Martin Green.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Lime Hawk Moth

A first in our garden. Took a fancy to our NZ visitor's clothing.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Painted Lady at The Lodge

Painted Lady

Painted Lady on Rosemary at The Lodge today - part of a huge movement of these butterflies over the weekend

Monday, 25 May 2009

Mud-mining Bees

There were about a dozen of these Osmia rufa females collecting mud from a damp wheel rut in Sandy on Saturday 23rd. The mud is used for nest cell partitions and nest sealing. (Thanks to Matt and Nico on the forum for the ID).

Pictures by Keith Balmer

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Green Silver-lines (Pseudoips prasinana)

Surprisingly few British moths are green. This is a strikingly marked example of one which is, the Green Silver-lines. The name says it all. This speciemen came to light in Potton Wood last night along with a second individual.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Odonata at Roxton

Scarce Chaser
Scarce Chaser

Hairy Dragonflies mating
Hairy Dragonflies

Banded Demoiselle
Female Banded Demoiselle

Friday, 22 May 2009

Green tiger beetle conga line

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare phenomenon - the beginnings of a green tiger beetle conga line. Fascinating!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Wasp Beetle and Ichneumon

Both down by Jack's Pond at the lodge yesterday, any help with the ID of the Ichneumon gratefully received!

Soldier and cardinal beetles

A soldier beetle (Cantharis rustica - top and bottom) and a red-headed cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis - middle) hanging around the bramble and nettles at The Lodge yesterday.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Scarce Chaser at The Lodge

Scarce Chaser

First-ever record for the reserve, found in the flowerbed at the rear of the house

Brindled White-spot (Parectropis similaria)

This distictive geometrid species came to light in Potton Wood last night. It is regarded as local and uncommon in the county, and is the first record for the wood.

Phytomyza astrantiae - new to the UK in Bedfordshire

Phytomyza astrantiae (Hendel, 1924)
An Agromyzid (Diptera) leaf-miner new to Britain.

On 16th May 2009 David Manning noticed mines on the leaves of Astrantia major in his garden in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. Looking at the leafmine website,, only one miner was recorded on this plant – the dipterous miner Phytomyza spondylii, although this record, from Kew Gardens, referred to a species normally found on Heracleum.

David sent photos to Rob Edmunds who said it looked like Phytomyza astrantiae. Dr Willem Ellis in the Netherlands confirmed this identification.
The mines of this species key out in Hering, forming blotch mines on the leaf, whereas the mines of P.spondylii are much narrower and longer.
As far as we are aware this constitutes the first record of this miner in the UK.

Phytomyza astrantiae is known from Germany, and has recently been recorded in the Netherlands.

Astrantia major is a perennial garden plant. Members are asked to look at any plants of this species that they have, and let David know if the plants have leaf-mines similar to those shown here. David's contact details are on the contacts page of the BNHS website -

Miris striatus

Funky looking bug at the lodge yesterday, the nymph is surprisingly distinctive as well

Friday, 15 May 2009

Cinnabar Moth & Four-spotted Chaser - Stewartby Lake

A Cinnabar Moth and a newly emerged Four-spotted Chaser climbing away from its casing, photos by Martin Green.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Broad-bodied Chaser

This female Broad-bodied Chaser was hovering over the pond on the heath at the lodge yesterday

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Four-spotted Chaser

My first Four-spotted Chaser of the year, at Rookery Pit, one of about five hanging around in a sheltered spot out of the wind.

Photo by Keith Balmer

Osmia bicolor 2

Went back to Rookery Pit today and was lucky enough to find an Osmia bicolor in the process of covering her snail shell with stems, having just sealed the cell(s) inside. Over an hour and ten minutes I repeatedly tried to photograph her in flight, broomstick-fashion, as she fetched more stems. Here's the best I could manage:

And the resulting "tepee" of stems, covering the shell:

Photos by Keith Balmer

Monday, 11 May 2009

Damsels and Dragons

Well only one of each, but both new for the year for me

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Green Hairstreak - Stewartby Lake

Green Hairstreak near the edge of Steweartby Lake, photo by Martin Green.

Gems at Cooper's Hill

Just west of Cooper's Hill NR is a nice bit of "set-aside" on which were flying today Common Blue, Brown Argus, several Small Coppers including this one with rather natty lines along the veins on the hind wings, and some yet unidentified beetles that were useless at flying - just a few inches at a time!

Photos by Keith Balmer

Green Hairsteak egglaying and Grizzled Skipper at Stewartby

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Downy Emerald

This Downy Emerald was flying (some of the time) at Sandhouse Lane NR today

Photo by Keith Balmer

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Slow Worm in Chicksands Wood

This Slowworm was basking on the track in Chicksands Wood this afternoon, 6th May 2009. Photos by Andy Banthorpe.