Toadstools

Toadstools

Monday, 6 March 2017

unidentified aphid

These images are from August 2015. The wing venation suggests aphid but can anyone enlighten me as to species.  Comparison with images on-line shows some similarities with Hellebore aphids but I haven't found a winged green aphid with an orange thorax yet.



Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Gelis sp - wingless ichneumon wasp

I took this image in the flower bed last October. At the time I was trying to get pictures of a striking looking ichneumoninae and thought it was one of the red ants that I have in abundance in the garden so grabbed a record shot and carried on with what I was doing. Looking at it now, it doesn't seem to be an ant at all - head/eyes don't look right and there is no longer first segment on the antennae. No wings ... so I'm very puzzled.  Grateful if anyone can point me in the right direction.



This has now been confirmed by Gavin Broad on UK BWA Facebook Group as Gelis sp - one of the wingless icneumonidae.  Aderyn shows no Welsh records for this family so is this a first Welsh record ?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Spawning time in Llandaff North

I was surprised to see two clumps of frogspawn in the garden pond today - but I probably shouldn't have been as our resident frogs seem to be spawning earlier than they used to. We've been here 10 years and the last three years have seen the earliest spawning dates, with 2016 being the earliest (1st Feb). In earlier years the first dates ranged from 14th Feb (2013) to 27th Feb (2010 and 2012).



I'm not sure this relates to mild winters - we had several of those in the earlier years here, and January of this year was pretty chilly. Perhaps just part of a general trend to earlier spawning.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Campopleginae sp - ichneumonidae

Going through my records for July last year, I found some images of an 'anon' ichneumon wasp which I put on the UK Bees Wasps Ants Group on Facebook. Jaswinder Boparai ID'd this as a male Campopleginae sp and this was confirmed by Gavin Broad.



I can find no records of this on Aderyn, and there are very few on the NBN Gateway. Maybe this is because there are other specifically named records that are not picked up with a generic search.

Looking further back I found images for two separate days in July 2015 of female Campopleginae sp, again confirmed by Jaswinder so I shall be looking out for one in July this year.



EDIT: I have now found some records, but again not many, for Campoplex sp on NBN. This shows none in Wales, although Aderyn shows one record on Gower in 1925 for Campoplex faunus.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Garden visitors 15 January

Milder weather and some sunshine brought in the visitors on Sunday.

Watched a 'strange encounter' when a flower bug (Anthocoris nemorum ?) came face to face with a Calliphora sp fly but nothing happened - after saying hello they moved on and went their separate ways.


Apparently there are not many hoverflies around at the moment, but 4 came into the garden for a look around. A single Episyrphus balteatus, and three (2 female & 1 male) Meliscaeva sp.


In addition to the many Calliphora that were buzzing around, I also saw a number of other flies - an odd-looking fly with large femora  (I've put pictures of this on the UK Diptera Facebook Group to see if anyone can help with ID), a Sepsis sp, and  a couple of different Anthomyiidae sp (at least I think that's what they were).



Also saw one of the green leafhoppers and a  springtail. Not a bad hour in the garden!




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Golden Days

At a site, in the mid Cynon Valley, this afternoon, I was photographing the apothecia of the lichen Xanthoria parietina, which appear to be host to a lichinocolous fungus (possibly Lichenoconium xanthoriae), I noticed another yellowish lichen on a nearby branch of the same tree and immediately recognised it as the rare (for Wales, anyway) Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, or Golden-eye Lichen.
In autumn 2015, the first record of it in Wales was made further up the Cynon Valley, though not by me and since then I have been keeping my eye open for it.
Strangely; straight after the first discovery in 2015, I went on holiday to Dorset and accidentally found it on Winfrith Heath nature reserve. It isn't quite so rare down there, but it was a first for the reserve.
The position of the first site is being kept secret, as these foliose lichens on trees are very vulnerable to accidental damage, so I will not divulge its location here. As far as I am aware, this is only the second record in Wales, though hopefully someone will put me right on that.

Sorry about the photo. The camera was on a tripod, but there was just enough breeze to gently move the tree as I tried to photograph it.

Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, The whole lichen is only around 15mm across.

Xanthoria parietina. The middle two apothecia have black dots on them. Those
are the pycnidia of a lichenocolous fungus; possibly Lichenoconium xanthoriae.
I took a specimen and will check it out.

Monday, 19 December 2016

December Harvestmen

Two visits this month - the first on 02 December, which I am confident is Opilio canestrinii, and the second on 16 December. I'm not really sure about the second one - it looks like an oddly coloured O. canestrinii, but not sure. Would appreciate confirmation/correction for this one..