Saturday, 22 April 2017

Ramsons ... and what you can find on them

Into my local woods in Creigiau this morning in search of the Ramsons hoverfly, Portevinia maculata. Not only did I find several males of that, but also on Ramsons I found a stunning Birch Shieldbug and a Tipula vittata. All three are new species for me, and checking on Aderyn all three appear to be new for my home square ST08 as well. 😊

Portevinia maculata
Birch Shieldbug

Tipula vittata

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 ichneumonidae.  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!