I spotted a Scarlet Tiger flying in my garden this afternoon which eluded the camera (and me) for a while, but I eventually found it skulking under the buddleia.
Half an hour later I found another. (The spots are slightly different if you look closely).
They don't like flash though, unlike most insects that don't seem to notice it, so make your first attempt at a photo a good one as you may not get a second!
I wonder why they like my garden as I don't have any larval foodplant (e.g comfrey or green alkanet). Maybe it's just because its a bit of a wild oasis in an urban desert.
Monday, 19 June 2017
Saturday, 17 June 2017
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
I was at Totternhoe today helping with the man orchid monitoring and just before the end Wilf Powell did some sweeping of low vegetation. He found this 24-spot ladybird, the only ladybird that I'd seen all day, and fortunately one of my "missing" species. The elytra are covered with fine hairs.
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Yes, I know it's out of focus! I was carrying my Nikon P7800 today for some stupid reason and it isn't great at macro - the background is sharp though! Anyway, it is of the Forget-me-not Shieldbug and was at Rookery Pit. (There are similar shield bug species with lighter bits around the edge put this one was pure black, hence Forget-me-not).
Sunday, 14 May 2017
I only saw two ladybirds all day today, one harlequin and this Kidney Spot Ladybird, fortunately one of my "missing" species. This was crawling on the trunk of an Ash tree at Sandy Smith NR. This species is most frequently seen crawling on trunks and branches where it is looking for scale insects to eat.
I'm hoping/presuming that this is the bum of Chrysolina fastuosa which feeds on white dead nettle and is what it was on at Sandy Smith NR. I clumsily knocked it off when trying for a better picture and lost it in the undergrowth!
Friday, 12 May 2017
I've seen a few more Red Admirals in the last week, possibly from a migration. Here's one basking in bright cloud at Mowsbury Hill today. (I remembered to under-expose when spot metering on the centre to get "blacks" rather than "greys" which is what happens with default metering).
Thursday, 11 May 2017
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
I spotted this trotting along the field margin while beating confers at Stanford Wood. It seems to key out quite easily from the photos as Silpha laevigata, thanks to Andy Banthorpe's website at http://www.picus.co.uk/bedssilphidae/ which includes a key. (Seems to match Googles images too, though this method of ID'ing needs to be treated with caution!). I've iRecord'd the record for the Carrion Beetles Recording Scheme.
Moved my hunt for the final two conifer-based ladybird species to Stanford Wood today and was immediately showered with 18-spots which were beaten from almost every conifer tree. Amazing, given that I'd visited nearby Rowney Warren many times without seeing any. Cream-streaked Ladybirds were also quite common in Stanford Wood, but just one Eyed Ladybird. Striped Ladybird still eludes me...